|Human Traffickers Indicted in Portland for Brutally Assaulting Two Women in Portland|
|Police saw a woman bound to a chair who had been severely assaulted.||The second victim had also been bound and beaten.|
Story by olly Hofstead - The Oregon Herald
|Published on Tuesday May 11, 2021 - 1:43 AM|
During their surveillance they noticed two suspicious men leaving a hotel room unrelated to their fugitive. A member of the US Marshals Task Force was able to see into the room the men had just left and saw a woman bound to a chair who had been severely assaulted. The US Marshals put a plan into place to immediately rescue the woman. They notified the Portland Police Bureau and requested medical attention. The Portland Police Bureau Human Trafficking Unit responded to the scene and took lead on the investigation.
While Portland Police were on the scene, a second trafficking victim was located and rescued a short distance away. The second victim had also been bound and beaten and it was ultimately determined that these circumstances were related.
The actions by traffickers closely mirrored that of several trafficking cases from nearby jurisdictions earlier this year. Detectives from the Portland Police Bureau coordinated with law enforcement partners to identify and locate these traffickers.
Both of the victims in the Portland case are Chinese Foreign Born Nationals who were brought to the United States on fraudulent visas and under fraudulent and misleading terms. Through the investigation it was determined that the two traffickers had operations in Portland and other cities locally and across the country.
These human traffickers used violent and brutal tactics to force the victims to commit sexual acts for money, which was then given to the traffickers. The traffickers were identified as 19-year-old Yuan Gao and 21-year old Xinyu Zhou. Mr. Gao and Mr. Zhou were arrested on December 15, 2020 in another state.
On December 17, 2020, Mr. Gao and Mr. Zhou were indicted in Portland, Oregon, by the Multnomah County District Attorney Human Trafficking Team on two counts of Compelling Prostitution, eight counts of Robbery in the first degree, four counts of Robbery in the second degree, three counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, two counts of Assault in the first degree, and one count of Assault in the first degree.
Victim advocates assigned to the Portland Police Bureau Human Trafficking Unit, have been coordinating after care and recovery efforts for the victims. The Portland Police Bureau thanks its local and federal partners for their assistance in this investigation, especially the members of the US Marshal Service Task Force for their key role in the rescuing one of the victims from continued victimization.
Rebecca Bender didn't realize she'd been trafficked.
She understood she'd been forced into prostitution by her boyfriend when she was 19. That he had tricked her into believing she'd only be dancing for men. That instead the men had raped her.
It was more than two years after her escape before she realized the coercive tactics her boyfriend had used were appallingly common among traffickers.
Now, 10 years after her escape from a violent trafficker in Las Vegas, the Oregon native is running a national nonprofit (www.rebeccabender.org) to aid fellow sex trafficking survivors and train police officers to rescue victims. Bender will speak Wednesday at Oregon State University about her experiences and ensuing activism. Her presentation is free and open to the public...