It's another attempt in Salem to crack down on pimps and johns who prey on children.
State Senator Tim Knopp of Bend is pushing a bill that would strengthen the penalties for sex traffickers in a state that has lenient laws compared to other nearby states.
He says pimps won't stop their high paying activity - if there are just minor legal consequences.
“The only thing that's going to stop them is putting them away- we're talking about girls here- there worst nightmare is that their child is being co-opted and put into this lifestyle.”
Those who work with the young victims of sex trafficking say the pimps can be extremely clever and manipulative. They will pretend to be a boyfriend, offer a rich lifestyle, addict the girls to drugs, any weakness that works to get them to agree to sexual slavery.
Knopp testified in favor of Senate Bill 786 in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday. He says Oregon has a "D" grade in terms of laws that try to stop sex trafficking. Non-profit groups trying to fight the problem say nearby states have tougher laws, so Oregon is becoming a haven for those involved in sex trafficking.