SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced today he will testify on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at a Congressional hearing titled A Pathway to Freedom: Rescue and Refuge for Sex Trafficking Victims, which will be held before the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations. Reyes participated in a rescue sting operation with Operation Underground Railroad in Colombia where he and several others liberated over 120 young children from a modern-day sex slavery ring operated by a network of human traffickers. Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R) Founder and CEO and former CIA agent and special agent for the Department of Homeland Security Tim Ballard will also testify on the growth of NGO rescue operations and how organizations such as O.U.R. can complement government agencies in expediting human and child sex trafficking rescue and rehabilitation efforts worldwide.
“I applaud Congressman Smith and the many others who support legislation like this International Megan’s Law,” said Attorney General Reyes. “Protecting children and women from exploitation by providing advance notice of intended travel by registered child-sex offenders to the government of the country of destination is another powerful step toward stopping child-sex trafficking. Having witnessed such atrocities with my own eyes last October, I can tell you this deplorable multibillion dollar industry continues to flourish and must be stopped. By advancing International Megan’s Law, I am hopeful we can significantly reduce sex tourism and human and child sex trafficking on a nationwide and global scale.”
According to the Congressional subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations which oversees human trafficking, the United States government runs sting operations abroad to catch U.S. pedophile sex tourists and rescue victims where there is a nexus to the United States but often has to look to others to conduct rescue operations or run investigations that fall outside U.S. government jurisdiction. Attorney General Reyes will focus his testimony on his Colombian sting experience, his own experience combating human trafficking in Utah and why current provisions in H.R. 515 are critical to reduce and prevent human and child-sex trafficking.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Attorney General Reyes and Mr. Ballard will be available for further comment; images and additional information are available upon request.
About Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes
Honorable Sean D. Reyes is the 21st Attorney General and first ethnic minority elected statewide in Utah. First appointed in December 2013 to lift an office rocked by scandal and neglect, Reyes has received wide praise locally and nationally for transforming the Utah AG’s office, regaining public trust and successfully handling many of the most high profile and important cases in state history. Reyes garnered international acclaim when news broke of his travel to a dangerous area of South America last year with Operation Underground Railroad in a covert sting, where he posed as a bodyguard and translator to help liberate over 100 children from a sexual trafficking ring that spanned multiple locations. The sting had the support of both the U.S. and Colombian governments; two U.S. Department of Homeland Security investigators were also present.