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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 29, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 05
Pam Roach kicked off Human Trafficking Task Force
Charged with abusive remarks toward victims
Section One
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Pam Roach kicked off Human Trafficking Task Force
Charged with abusive remarks toward victims

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

State Sen. Pam Roach has been kicked off the state's Human Trafficking Task Force after using abusive language toward trafficking victims.

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen - acting in his capacity as president of the state Senate - removed her in a letter sent January 26.

'You attacked agency staff, persons both present and absent, stakeholders, and persons who have miraculously survived being victims of trafficking,' Owen wrote to Roach.

State officials attending the meeting with Roach 'described their staff as 'visibly shaken' by your attacks,' Owen added.

Owen was 'horrified' at the abuse Roach heaped on young victims of the human trade, he said.

'Among other fictions, you claimed that sexually trafficked and homeless youth are deliberately trying not to fit with their families by tattooing their faces and getting piercings,' Owen wrote.

'Without any apparent basis you minimized the exploitation of sexually trafficked minors by alleging that they probably spend their money on drugs and asked if the labor-trafficked persons were 'illegals.' '

Owen told Roach she should have no further contact with the Task Force, its staff, or victims working with it.

'I further direct you to engage in no retaliatory actions against any persons associated with or having any connection whatsoever with the Human Trafficking Task Force, and to refrain from any further meetings,' he wrote.

Roach, a Republican, is the most senior member of the state Senate and is notorious for her unstable personality.

In 2003, Republican Senate colleagues recommended that Roach seek mental health counseling after she brandished a pistol at a staff member. In 2008, she was warned not to have contact with Senate staff after many complained of abuse by her.

She was barred from the Senate Republican caucus in 2010 and only allowed back in when Republicans needed her vote to capture control of the chamber in 2012.

Roach is also a co-sponsor of two of this year's crop of anti-Transgender bills. SB 6443 would repeal the state Human Rights Commission rules on restroom access and forbid the commission from making any rules at all regulating restroom use. SB 6548 would prevent Trans residents from accessing restrooms that correspond to their gender identities.

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Pam Roach kicked off Human Trafficking Task Force
Charged with abusive remarks toward victims

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