Former Oregon House Speaker and current Clackamas Community College board member Dave Hunt got caught up in an undercover police sting for sex trafficking. That is a bit ironic considering he supp0orted legislation making sex trafficking crimes illegal.
He served in the state legislature for 121 years including stints as majority leader and Speaker. He left politics years ago. He currently serves as president and CEO of Columbia Public Affairs, where he is also a registered Oregon lobbyist.
The Portland Police announced that they had arrested 8 men on solicitation charges but did not name them. But they did say the names could be provided by request.
Reporters at the Portland Tribune made such a request when they noticed Hunt’s name and after some checking decided he was the former legislator. They contacted Hunt who told them that he shouldn’t be talking to them.
The Human Trafficking Unit is one of its oldest units at the Portland Police Department. Due to both COVID-19 restrictions and months of nightly civil unrest, the unit has not been very active but they consist of 2 detectives, a sergeant and 4 officers. The unit is beginning to get back into the swing of things and will be increasing their missions.
Hunt’s attorney, Micheal De Munis, said:
“Mr. Hunt denies the allegations, but respects the criminal justice process and will refrain from saying more until he has his opportunity in court.”
As a legislator, Hunt was one of numerous sponsors of a bill criminalizing sex trafficking in 2007. In 2011, he also voted for HB 2714, that bill created the crime of commercial sexual solicitation, the crime for which he was arrested and cited.
The Portland Police Bureau issued a press release May 1, saying its Human Trafficking Unit had cited eight men in an operation conducted in April. Officers posted online decoy ads on known human trafficking websites, and the subjects who “contacted undercover police officers to arrange payment for sexual acts” were criminally cited on the charge of commercial sexual solicitation.
A Democrat, Hunt served as state representative for District 40 of the Oregon House of Representatives, representing Clackamas County from 2003 to 2013. He was elected Oregon House majority leader for the 2007-2009 session and served as speaker during the 2009-11 session.