Congressional candidate James Thompson called for a federal crackdown on human trafficking at the first news conference of the 4th District congressional campaign.
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Thompson, a lawyer, said he would press for increased penalties for traffickers, more resources to help victims, and additional training and empowerment for social workers, teachers, health-care providers and others to identify and act on trafficking.
He said those efforts must focus on people who run and profit from the business of sex trafficking, not low-level sex workers.
“What we are seeing is we’re going after the victims themselves and prosecuting them for prostitution and things like that, instead of going after the johns and the pimps and the people who are exploiting these ... young girls and young boys,” Thompson said. “We’re simply not doing what we’re supposed to be doing. We’re going after the wrong people.”
Thompson is the Democratic candidate for the 4th District congressional seat vacated when Rep. Mike Pompeo resigned to join President Trump’s administration as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He will face Republican state Treasurer Ron Estes and Libertarian Chris Rockhold in the April 11 special election.