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Sex trafficking is a form of slavery in which victims are induced to engage in sex through force or fraud. Sex traffickers frequently target vulnerable victims and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry. Sex trafficking occurs in many different environments, including the truck stops, strip clubs, hostess clubs, hotels, and motels along the I-5 corridor.

Tamara LeRoy will describe the activities of the Lane County Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Multidisciplinary Team, a collaborative effort between community partners and agencies to support and facilitate survivor-centered approaches to combat sex trafficking. The aim of this
team is to support survivors and hold offenders accountable. To ensure a coordinated community response, the team partners with representatives from local, state, and federal agencies, including law enforcement, and local non-profit and volunteer organizations that serve the youth and young adult population in our area.  Tamara is also a confidential advocate and provides trauma-informed, survivor-centered support for survivors of sexual violence at Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS). She is a first generation graduate of the University of Oregon, where she studied cultural anthropology and equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the public sphere. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Folklore and Public Culture at the University of Oregon.

Detective Curtis A. Newell of the Eugene Police Department will describe how law enforcement approaches commercial sex exploitation, including local criminal trends and recent cases. He will also provide guidance on how the public can help fight this plague. A graduate of Oregon State University, Detective Newell has been in law enforcement for more than 16 years, and a detective since 2008, when he was assigned to work narcotics, gang enforcement, sex trafficking, and violent crimes.  He is currently assigned as a detective on the Special Investigations Unit. Detective Newell was the 2010 recipient of the National Exploited Children’s Award from National Center for Missing and Endangered Children (NCMEC) for his role in recovering seven minor girls who were the victims of sex trafficking, and arresting the pimps and johns involved in their exploitation.