Actor Ashton Kutcher recounted witnessing harrowing abuse scenes “no person should ever see” at his U.S. Senate hearing on Wednesday (15Feb17).
The former Two and a Half Men star has been campaigning against sexual trafficking since 2009, after establishing his philanthropic organisation, Thorn, with ex-wife Demi Moore – a charity geared towards eradicating child pornography and sex slavery around the world.
Kutcher shared some of the horrific experiences he’s had in his efforts to combat the crimes during an impassioned speech he gave in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday.
“I’ve seen things that no person should ever see,” he said with tears in his eyes, according to PageSix. “I’ve seen video content of a child that is the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia. This child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play.”
Ashton, who shares daughter Wyatt, two, and son Dimitri, four months, with his wife Mila Kunis, also recalled a heartbreaking moment when he realised neither his organisation nor authorities could help a young girl being abused: “I’ve been on the other end of a phone call from my team asking for my help because we had received a call from the Department of Homeland Security telling us that a seven-year-old girl was being sexually abused and that content was being spread (online) on the Dark Web…
“They’d watched her for three years and they could not find the perpetrator, (and were) asking us for help. We were the last line of defence. An actor and his foundation were the last line of defence!”
“I had to say no and it devastated me, it haunted me,” Kutcher added while choking up with tears.
He explained that experience gave him the motivation to put tools in place through his organisation to be able to assist in similar cases: “For the next three months I had to go to sleep every night and think about that little girl that was being abused and the fact that if I built the right thing, we could have saved her,” he added. “Now, if I got that phone call, the answer would be yes.”