Sex slaves who come in from other states are protected, but that same protection is not extended to Alaska residents. Soon that could change.
Senate bill 110 would make it illegal to transport people within the state for the purpose of sexual enslavement.
Senator Wielechowski who introduced the bill says it was brought to light partly because of the growing rate of Alaskan Native teen victims.
Right now it is only illegal to bring people from other states to Alaska for the purpose of sex trafficking.
“We don't have a provision for in-state transfer of a person,” Sen. Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) said.
Covenant house officials say there are a growing number of under aged youth being victimized.
“You are not going to see people in Spenard, your not necessarily going to see a strong visual representation of the trafficking,” said Lauren Rice, Director of Public Affairs for Covenant House Alaska. “It's gone underground, so there are aspects of it that are more difficult to track, but we still know kids are being victimized.”
“We've had many, many reports that these sexual predators are going out to rural villages and enticing kids, young girls, young boys to the urban areas and work in sexual entertainment work in prostitution,” Wielechowski said.
The Covenant House says young victims come through their doors at least every month.
And it's not just Alaska Native teens; it's kids from every ethnicity.
“We've had kids who were victims of trafficking and then being pursued by a pimp and we've had to help them go into hiding, we've had all kinds of difference experiences from trying to protect kids from this,” Rice said.
Wielechowski put in a request for a hearing on senate bill 110; he is hoping to get one in the next couple weeks.
The proposed bill will also give judges the ability to bar certain child sex offenders from living within 500 feet of a school ground as part of their probation.