Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and Cindy McCain said the issue of sex trafficking is far more serious than most people believe and must be addressed by stronger prison sentences against those who prey on the victims.

For Hallman, a candidate for governor, the issue is deeply personal. His niece was kidnapped and forced into the sex trade at 15, drugged and forced into prostitution after being shipped to Florida. She died before her 19th birthday.

"It is the appetites of Americans that must be addressed," he said. "Those appetites are drawing illegal drugs and the sex trade to the United States."

Many of the victims in the sex trade business are brought into Arizona from Mexico.

Cindy McCain, who co-chairs a task force appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer, said lengthier sentences are needed to put away the people who prey on young victims.

"These girls are not prostitutes, they're victims," she said. "They have been trafficked. We need to look at this in a new way. This is a human rights issue."

Jim Cross, Reporter

share this story:
Attention Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.