Ashton Kutcher is known for shows like “That 70’s Show” and “PUNK’D”, but with all jokes aside, he went before the Senate Foreign Relation Hearing in Washington, D.C. to testify on the ending of modern slavery.
Kutcher became emotional as he spoke about what he experienced as co-founder of Thorn, which is a tech company that fights child sex exploitation.
Kutcher fought tears as he described a particular case, he went on to speak on how cases on child sex exploitation effects him since he is a father of two, with one child being two-years-old and the other child being two-months-old.
“I’ve seen things that no person should ever see. I’ve seen video content of a child that’s the same age as mine being raped by an American man that was a sex tourist in Cambodia, and this child was so conditioned by her environment that she thought she was engaging in play.”
He then told a story of a 15-year-old girl he called “Amy.”
“‘Amy’ met a man online, started talking to him and a short while later they met in person. Within hours, ‘Amy’ was raped and forced into trafficking. She was sold for sex, and this isn’t an isolated incident. There’s not much that’s unusual about it — the only unusual thing is that ‘Amy’ was found and returned to her family within three days using the software we created, a tool called Spotlight.”
There was a moment during Kutcher’s testimony when he recalled a phone conversation he had that haunted him. The conversation was concerning footage that was circulating on the dark web for about three years. The footage involved a 7-year-old girl who was getting sexually abused.
“When the Department of Homeland Security called us and asked if we had a tool, I had to say no. And it devastated me and haunted me because for the next three months I had to go to sleep every night and think about the girl who was being abused and if we had built the right thing, we could save her. So that’s what we did, and now if I got that phone call, the answer would be ‘yes.’ We’ve taken the investigation time from three years to three weeks.”
Kutcher’s company Thorn now has a tool, Solis that investigates the dark web.
Kutcher’s full testimony can be accessed on the C-SPAN website.