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Sen. Ben Sasse hosts Senate hearing in Lincoln on sex trafficking

Posted at 10:17 PM, Sep 03, 2019

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — State Senator Julie Slama said progress has been made in cracking down, and understanding sex trafficking.

" In a large way they've been brainwashed to believe that they're working together with this person, particularly with the girls given promises that someday they'll get a lot of money,” says attorney general Doug Peterson.

Victims can now sue, they can also get immunity in court and the statute of limitations significantly increased.

Police also now have broad wire-tapping powers.

Law enforcement in Nebraska can also now better identify it than four years ago, getting significant training and creating a task force across the state.

Peterson, who’s been AG since 2015, said they also approach women involved, differently.

"That's a different perspective, you don't go in looking at her as a criminal, you look at her as a victim, and how can we bring her in, get her confidence up to explain, who's been trafficking her,” says Peterson.

Much of the hearing centered on how traffickers get paid and pay their victims, which varies widely.

"Go from a 20-year-old guy trafficking his 16-year-old girlfriend and paying her in meth, and that type of small operation, all the way to a dark web operation with crypto currency that runs across state lines,” says Peterson.

To crack down on larger operations, financial expert David Murray told Senator Sasse the Senate needs to stop allowing companies to be anonymous, and to regulate crypto currency more.

Sasse seemed open to all ideas.

"But the large organizations also ultimately have to have recourse back into financial systems and structures that exist. So we expect there will be tools that should be available to law enforcement to try and combat illicit money trafficking,” says Sasse.