Bill to protect survivors of human trafficking passes Senate

February 8th, 2017|

Senate Bill 5030, sponsored by Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, passed on the Senate Floor Wednesday. The bill will extend the statute of limitations for victims of human trafficking and commercial sexual abuse. The bill also broadens the definition of profits or compensation relating to commercial sexual abuse and promoting prostitution of a minor to be anything of value.

“This is an incredibly important bill for our marginalized and vulnerable youth,” said Darneille. “We are taking away some of the tools traffickers and pimps use against young women and men who are being sexually exploited. Many of these crimes are committed against minors who may not be able to get out of a manipulative or dangerous situation.”

The bill extends the statute of limitations for human trafficking crimes for up to 10 years after the crime is committed if the victim is under the age of 18. The statute of limitations for commercial sexual abuse and promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor is also extended until the victim’s 30th birthday if the crimes were committed against a minor. Food, drugs, -, shelter, jewelry, and promises of marriage are often used as compensation by traffickers and pimps to control the victims. By broadening the definition of what is of value, these transactions can now be captured under the law.

“Survivors of human trafficking or prostitution need time to heal and rebuild trust and this bill gives survivors the time they may need to properly bring justice to the people that committed these horrible crimes,” said Darneille.

Senate Bill 5030 is request legislation from the Attorney General’s Office. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.