PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An 18-year-old from Portland answered an online ad for a job in Hawaii. When she landed there, her “employer” took away her clothes, luggage and cell phone.
Like other young women from Oregon, she was lured to Hawaii to be a sex slave. Unlike many others, she managed to get away.
“In this particular case with this young girl over the weekend we were so fortunate,” said Jessica Rich of the Hawaii Visitors Assistance. “It was such a close call. We were able to get her an airline ticket (back to Portland.)”
The Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii helps more than 2,000 tourist a year with various problems — including prostitution.
Nobody knows how many young women are promised a lucrative job on the islands and then forced into prostitution, but local experts said the numbers are startling.
Pastor Steve Trujillo runs Tomorrow’s Hope, a Portland sex trafficking intervention. While vacationing on Oahu, he saw first-hand how young girls are lured there with promises of beach, money and paradise.
Honolulu police said last weekend’s Oregon victim was able to escape before being forced into the life.
The teen was re-united with her family at PDX earlier this week.