Posted at: 12/02/2013 11:06 PM
Updated at: 12/02/2013 11:37 PM
By: Steph Crock

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Klobuchar Introduces Bill to Model Nationwide Approach to Human Trafficking after Minnesota Efforts

(ABC 6 News) -- It's a problem you might think is not happening in our area.  But it is.  And now Minnesota is being used as an example of how to handle sex trafficking.

US Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., addressed this issue of human tracking today in Rochester alongside of the mayor, county attorney, and those with Mission 21, a group that helps victims of sex trafficking.

She introduced federal legislation Monday that she and a Republican senator out of Texas are working on, using Minnesota as a model.  It aims to treat those who are forced into prostitution, as victims rather than criminals, and saves the prosecuting for those running the sex trafficking rings.

"Lets look at some of the funding so we can help groups like Mission 21 and the sisters here, who are trying to help the victims and lets get them some funding by actually increasing the fines against the people who are running the sex trafficking rings,"  Senator Klobuchar said.

Those with Mission 21 say they get a couple people a month coming in saying they were a victim of sex trafficking.

"We've come a long ways from 3 years ago, when we first started and having to convince our little community that this is happening, and a US senator represents what we're doing here and statewide with congress," said Stephanie Holt with Mission 21.