PHOENIX, AZ -- As tens of thousands of sports fans converge on Phoenix for Sunday’s Super Bowl XLIX, Central Oregon sex trafficking advocates are there working to identify current and potential victims. Before leaving for Arizona, Nita Belles, with the local chapter of Oregonians Against the Trafficking of Humans, spoke with KBND News. She says large-scale sporting events are often targeted by traffickers for the clientele they attract. "Because there is a largely male population and they’re in the party atmosphere. It’s the 'what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas' mentality."
She says many attendees feel more free to participate in illicit behavior because of the large, anonymous crowds. "I’ve gone to the last five Super Bowls and I’ve seen some horrific things with sex trafficking and Super Bowls. Fathers and sons, buying- in New Orleans, I saw a dad and a son and each of them had 2 victims on their arms." She says most of the trafficking she has witnessed is not at the big game, itself, but at the various parties and events held throughout the weekend.