A new study shows there is widespread child sex trafficking happening in the Portland metro area.
A report commissioned by the U.S. Attorney's Office found at least 469 children were the victims of sex trafficking locally in the last four years.
The number represents Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children cases served by the Department of Human Service Child Welfare and the Sexual Assault Resource Center.
As of July 2013, there are 159 open/active cases between the two agencies.
The average age of the victims is 15 years old. The youngest victim in the system was 8 years old.
More than 96 percent of the victims are girls. Of those, 16.6 percent have had a baby.
Forty percent of the victims are white and 27 percent are black. The report states African-Americans make up only about 6 percent of Multnomah County's population, so the number of victims is disproportionately represented in the study.
Half of the victims currently being served by the assisting agencies have a gang connection.
Portland State University conducted the study. Researchers said considering the amount of cases that go unreported, the findings in the report are considered "very conservative."
A recent nationwide FBI sting recovered 105 children involved in sex trafficking in 76 U.S. cities. Two children and one baby were rescued in the Portland metro area during the two-day operation last month.
Copyright 2013 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.
Report: 469 child victims of sex trafficking in Portland in last 4 yearsMore>>
Thursday, July 31 2014 11:57 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:57:19 GMT
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