The Portland metro area has long been pointed to as a hub for child sex trafficking, but the evidence was anecdotal and proof elusive.
Now, the U.S. attorney's office says it has the first clear data on commercial sex exploitation of children, counting 469 Portland victims between 2009 and 2013.
U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall says those numbers are a conservative tabulation of the scope of the problem.
She says the study by a Portland State University researcher is the first of its kind in the way that it counts victims, so comparisons to other cities aren't yet possible.
But U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden says a bill he's co-sponsoring will put federal dollars behind an effort to combat the trafficking, and hopes other states and metro areas will emulate the study.