2022 Legislative Priorities
Victims of Child Sex Trafficking – Safe Harbor and Service Response
- Asserts that a minor may not be criminally prosecuted or proceeded against as a delinquent child for certain crimes or civil offenses if the minor committed the crime or civil offense as a direct result of sex trafficking.
- Ensures that minors involved in the juvenile justice system who are suspected to be victims of sex trafficking will have their court proceeding stayed while they are assessed for sex trafficking by the Regional Navigator. If the assessment finds the minor to be a victim of sex trafficking, their prosecution will be dismissed and they will be directed out of juvenile justice and into victim services.
2019 Legislative Priorities
Criminal Law – Human Trafficking & Prostitution Offenses
Sponsors: Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Jesse Pippy
- Moves sex trafficking from the prostitution section of the code the crimes against a person section – further pushing the shift away from thinking that sex trafficking is just prostitution.
- Makes human trafficking a crime of violence, which extends the period before which a person is eligible for parole.
- Fixes several sections of the code to ensure that the definition of sex trafficking laws are clear and able to be enforced.
Anti-Exploitation Act of 2019
Sponsors: Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Wanika Fisher
- Criminalizes labor trafficking based on the collective experiences of other states and federal law.
- Resembles the Maryland sex trafficking statute by making labor trafficking a felony with a 25-year maximum penalty.
- Grants concurrent jurisdiction to the Attorney General, who will be able to independently investigate and prosecute labor trafficking.
Child Sex Trafficking Screening & Services Act of 2019
Sponsors: Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Brooke Lierman
- Creates a Regional Navigator program which ensures that every sex trafficked individual aged under 25 will have access to immediate and local specialized services
- Requires law enforcement and the Departments of Social Services to refer cases of sex trafficking to a Regional Navigator.
- Requires children involved with the Department of Social Services to be screened for sex trafficking.