Senator Gaines - RECOGNIZING UBER DRIVER KEITH AVILA for Fighting Human Trafficking

by Placerville Newswire / Feb 02, 2017 / comments

[PR Pond]

I was honored to welcome Keith Avila, the Uber driver who saved a teen from being sex trafficked, at the State Capitol where I presented him with a Senate Resolution recognizing his heroic efforts.

On December 26, 2016, Keith arrived in a Sacramento neighborhood to pick up three female passengers. One of them was a minor who wanted to be taken to a hotel in Elk Grove. During the trip, Keith overheard a conversation that convinced him that the very young-looking woman was about to be pimped by her two older companions. After he dropped the women off at the hotel, he did what many others may not have done. He took immediate action and alerted the Elk Grove police. Thanks to Keith’s accurate assessment of the situation and his willingness to become involved, the two older women were arrested, charged with pimping and pandering and jailed. The 16 year old runaway teen was provided with shelter and assistance. 

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that affects an estimated 800,000 victims a year globally and an estimated 15,000 to 17,000 Americans. That is why I introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 15, which proclaims the month of January 2017 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. 

Through public education and awareness, we may be able to identify victims and restore their individual freedoms as well as their physical, mental and emotional state.

A number of organizations and law enforcement throughout the state and country are working tirelessly to provide the needed resources to combat human trafficking and prosecute perpetrators of these egregious crimes. 

As with anything, much more can be done and it is important to continue the discussion and bring this serious issue that exists in our country out from the shadows and into the light. 

This is one of the most unifying social justice issues of our time. May we continue to work every day to fight to eradicate this evil from our communities and from the world.

Senator Ted Gaines.