About 60 Jefferson County, Colo., children — most of them girls — are either being sold for sex or at high risk of becoming sex-trafficking victims, the county district attorney’s office says. Those kids are being exploited not far from the public’s view through Internet advertising sites and in motel rooms lining busy thoroughfares. Young girls living on the streets, many of whom are runaways from abusive homes and whose numbers are growing, have become “walking targets.”
“That’s unconscionable,” said District Attorney Peter Weir. Weir’s office last month created a special unit aimed at helping at-risk children before they become victims. The office is partnering with police and social services to take a team approach to battling the problem. The unit wants to set an example in Colorado at a time when trafficking is becoming more recognized and after new statutes went into effect in July aligning state laws with federal ones. Weir’s office helped write those new statutes.