Grove’s Unveils Bill to Combat Vile Human Trafficking
1/26/2018
HARRISBURG – To further combat the vile practice of human trafficking, Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) has introduced a bill to increase penalties on those convicted of trafficking someone into sex slavery and on individuals who patronize a victim of sexual trafficking.

“Human Trafficking robs the victim of their basic human rights and dignity. Those who profit off this detestable trade should face the full force of the law,” Grove said. “Human trafficking is, sadly, found in all corners of the Commonwealth, including York County where two men were recently arrested, accused of luring women into prostitution and using violence, drugs and threats to prevent them from leaving.”

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 152 potential cases of human trafficking were reported in Pennsylvania in 2016

Grove’s legislation, House Bill 2029, would increase the penalty for trafficking an individual into sex slavery from a second-degree felony to a first-degree felony. Likewise, an individual who patronizes a victim of sexual trafficking would now face a first-degree felony. Additionally, patrons of victim of sexual trafficking would face an increased fine from $500 to between $1,000 and $30,000 at the discretion of the court. If the victim is a minor at the time of the offense, the fine would be increased to a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $100,000. The legislation also requires an individual who patronizes a victim of sex trafficking to register as a sex offender.

In light of the connection between prostitution and human trafficking, the legislation also increases fines for repeat offenders of those patronizing prostitutes. A second-time offender would face an additional fine of at least $1,000, but no more than $20,000. A third-time offender would see an additional fine of at least $5,000 but no more than $30,000. A fourth-time offender would see an additional fine of at least $10,000 but no more than $50,000. Those who are caught patronizing a prostitute would also be required to register as a sex offender.

The bill also gives law enforcement more tools to combat this heinous crime. It would give prosecutors the ability to use electronic surveillance to collect evidence, rescue victims and prosecute traffickers.

“Women and young girls are often the victims of this repugnant crime, which robs them of their basic human rights. What makes it even more abhorrent is the average age of a victim of trafficking or sex slavery is 12 to 14 years old,” Grove said. “These victims are our sons and daughters; nieces and nephews; and grandsons and granddaughters. We must do more to protect these vulnerable individuals from falling victim to this vile crime.”

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
717.260.6374
ggross@pahousegop.com
RepGrove.com / Facebook.com/RepSethGrove



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