- Associated Press - Monday, January 20, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) - The producer of a documentary about sex trafficking in Las Vegas and Nevada said Monday he expects a flood of hotline calls after his show about the exploitation of children and young adults airs statewide this week.

Pastor Troy Martinez called the 30-minute program titled “Trafficked No More” a beginning for addressing the problem, not a cure-all.

TV stations around the state have agreed to air the video at the same time: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Martinez, the pastor at East Vegas Christian Center, said a woman who viewed a four-minute preview of the show at a church Jan. 12 came forward to seek help to get out of a life of prostitution.

“Our goal is, one, to raise awareness so we can get immediate help for those who are trapped now, and, two, to begin to create layers of prevention,” he said.

The program highlights new state laws that identify sex trafficking, stiffen prison sentences for pimps convicted of trafficking, and provide help to victims.

A key provision of the law presumes that a prostitute cannot consent to being trafficked.

Martinez said that in the first 11 days of the new year, nine girls were identified as sex-trafficking victims in the Las Vegas police jurisdiction, including the Strip and Clark County suburbs. The youngest was 12.

Las Vegas police reported last year that almost three in five of the 410 victims of sex trafficking identified by police in 2011 and 2012 were children.

Prostitution is legal and regulated in most rural counties in Nevada but illegal in counties surrounding the state’s two largest cities, Las Vegas and Reno.

Martinez founded a nonprofit in 1998 called 10,000 Kids, aiming at gang and drug-abuse prevention. He began heading the Nevada Sex Trafficking Awareness Campaign two years ago.

He said the next step is to distribute “Trafficked No More” handbooks to middle- and high-school students with an age-appropriate resource list.

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More information: www.traffickednomore.org ; National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline: 888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733); National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929).

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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