SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Attorney General scolded the media Thursday, saying they don’t do enough reporting on human trafficking crimes.
Attorney General Sean Reyes made the statements at a press conference Thursday, where he announced the arrests of 16 people since January 1.
Each of the suspects were involved in human trafficking or internet sex crimes against children, Reyes said.
But then Reyes turned his focus to the media.
“People don't believe it can happen here, fueled sometimes by media stories and reports that these kind of things don't exist, that they're fabricated by law enforcement,” Reyes said while standing off to the side of the podium.
“Fueled by media reports that these things don't exist?” one reporter at the event asks.
“Sure,” Reyes replies.
“Any specifics?” another reporter asks.
“No, not right now,” Reyes responds, moving back toward the podium. “I do have one more thing to comment on though, because I don’t want to hijack…”
“No, please…” one reporter says before another adds, “That’s quite an accusation...”
Reyes replies: “You can look and do your own homework. I have read articles and reports where people have speculated that this is not actually happening. And I think it would be irresponsible to take that view, because we have put so much time, so much effort, so many resources, and we know these cases exist."
Fox 13 News reports constantly on the very real threat of internet luring and human trafficking in Utah. See the links below for a sampling of our coverage of those issues over the last year.
February 19, 2017: University of Utah hosts symposium on fighting human trafficking
December 23, 2016: Ogden man accused of sexual abuse of a child, other sex crimes
December 22, 2016: Charges filed against Sandy man accused of sexually abusing girls
November 11, 2016: Utah AG may be investigating human trafficking crimes in FLDS towns
January 15, 2016: Human trafficking forces new approaches to tackling prostitution