WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) issued the following statement before attending the Washington, D.C. premiere of “I Am Jane Doe,” a film that chronicles the stories of several victims of sex trafficking on Backpage.com:

“I’ve met face-to-face with a number of young women in Ohio who were sold on Backpage and their stories are heartbreaking. Human trafficking, including sex trafficking, is now a $150 billion-a-year industry and it’s happening everywhere, including in Ohio. Over the last two years, my investigation into Backpage revealed that the website knowingly facilitated criminal sex trafficking of vulnerable women and young girls and covered up evidence of these crimes in order to increase its own profits. ‘I Am Jane Doe’ is raising awareness about this horrific crime and shedding much-needed light on this issue. I look forward to continuing to do everything I can to fight this dark side of the Internet.

NOTE: Portman, who serves as co-chair of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking, will attend the screening this evening and participate in a post-screening panel alongside Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), John McCain (R-AZ), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and the “I Am Jane Doe” director Mary Mazzio, moderated by Perri Peltz.

Portman serves as the chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) and led an 18-month long bipartisan investigation into the scourge of online sex trafficking along with Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The widely-praised investigation produced a stunning report detailing how Backpage knowingly facilitated criminal sex trafficking of vulnerable women and underage girls and covered up evidence of these crimes in order to increase its own profits. 

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