Attorney general hosts Sex Trafficking Summit
The Nevada Attorney General hosted the first Sex Trafficking Summit at UNLV Wednesday. Video by ktnv.comvideo
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Andrea Swanson shared her family's story during Nevada's first Sex Trafficking Summit, because she wanted to put a face to the issue.
"We didn't know that this could happen to us, to any intact family," she said. "We thought it was runaways, the typical thing you think of when you think of a prostitute."
But when her daughter was in high school, her boyfriend started pimping her out on the Strip. Andrea says her family knew him, but had no idea.
"We bought him bus passes, a cell phone, we drove them around, we tried to help. He tricked us as much as he tricked her."
Stories like Andrea's are part of the reason Nevada's Attorney General decided to host this summit.
"Once you hear just one story, you cannot walk away from it and forget it," says Catherine Cortez Masto.
She says sex trafficking is a problem throughout the country, but especially in Nevada.
"There is a route for sex trafficking in Nevada. In the southern part, it's between Vegas and LA. In the north, between Reno and Sacramento," she said. "The youngest that I have seen trafficked is a young girl, 12 years old. So it's happening here. It's not going away unless we address it."
The Attorney General is now going to take this issue up to the legislature. She is introducing a bill next month.
"It's got components to protect victims, more rights for victims. It talks about increasing to go after perpetrators, not only pimps but also johns, the men who also buying the young minors and these folks."
Andrea hopes it will help. She says her daughter is still struggling with this issue.
"Her pimp (she calls him her boyfriend), he came out of jail two weeks ago and she's back with him. So this saga is not over."