Kevin Malone, Chairman of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, issued the following statement following passage of Senate Bill 145 in the California Assembly to remove the requirement that adults convicted of having sex with a teenager between the ages 14 to 17 must register as a sex-offender.
WASHINGTON (WJW/AP) — President Donald Trump says human trafficking has increased and dangers for survivors have heightened during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Department of Justice has issued $35 million in grants to 73 organizations nationwide providing assistance to human trafficking victims,” Trump said.
Trump explained that human trafficking poses a threat both domestically and internationally.
“You think of human trafficking as being an ancient form of crime. It is not. Because of the internet, it’s a very modern crime all over the world, not just here,” said Trump. “My administration will never rest in the fight against human trafficking.”
Barr called human trafficking an “evil scourge,” and he thanked President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka for working to end human trafficking and help survivors. Beyond the financial support, Barr said his department will do everything possible to “investigate, prosecute and punish” traffickers.
The $35 million in Housing Assistance Grants for Victims of Human Trafficking is being provided by the Office for Victims of Crime within the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs to provide housing and services to human trafficking survivors.
Fort Worth, Texas– In 2019, U.S. prosecutions under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 declined for the second year in a row. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, are demonstrating strong bi-partisan commitment to passing stronger federal legislation to improve victims’ services and strengthen law enforcement response to human trafficking.
Clinton, Iowa– The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office has assigned their first and only full-time human trafficking investigator. “They’re going to have somebody now that’s going to work with them from beginning to end,” said Sheriff Paula Dance. “Not just an officer that comes to take a report and you never see them again.”
Lake County, California– Human trafficking victims in California can now qualify for up to $20,000 in income loss paid through the California Victim Compensation Board. Signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Assembly Bill 629 (Smith and Gonzalez) has gone into effect to address the lasting repercussions of trafficking.
Washington, DC — A South Korean court has denied a US extradition request for the man behind one of the world’s largest child sexual abuse websites, Son Jong-woo. He served 18 months in South Korea for producing and distributing indecent images of children. Following his initial release in April, Son was taken back into custody after a warrant was issued for US extradition. But he will now be released again after the request was denied.
Tampa, Fla. – Kevin Malone released this statement following the arrest today of Ghislaine Maxwell, associate of Jeffrey Epstein: “Ghislaine Maxwell recruited, coerced, and abused innocent young girls to be repeatedly raped by pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his pedophile associates across the world and we pray the justice system holds her accountable for her heinous crimes. We pray that prosecutors pursue Biblical justice as explained in the New Testament book of James that “the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”
PIERRE, S.D. — Legislation to better protect and help victims of human trafficking in South Dakota will take effect on July 1. “This bill takes important steps to protect our state from the horrors of human trafficking, crack down on traffickers, and provide for victims through expanded services and resources”, said Governor Noem.
Dallas, Texas — Cyntoia Brown Long says sex trafficking is often not “black and white” and there is no “perfect victim,” as evidenced by her own case and the ongoing case of Chrystul Kizer, a teenager who is accused of killing her alleged sex trafficker and was released on bond last week.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking (USIAHT) today announced support for the Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act (Act) to end the use of “warrant-proof” encrypted technology utilized by sex traffickers and buyers to conceal their criminal activities.
Atlanta, Georgia– The Georgia Senate passed legislation Thursday that would punish convicted human traffickers who transport victims via commercial vehicles by banning them from obtaining a commercial driver’s license. House Bill 823, by Rep. Houston Gaines, would impose a lifetime ban on driving a commercial vehicle for persons convicted of human trafficking-related offenses.
“We are especially excited that our friend Heather Fischer has been appointed Special Advisor for Human Trafficking”, said CEO Kevin Malone. “I have worked alongside Heather on many efforts to stop human trafficking in the United States and abroad. She is one of the most passionate and capable champions in this fight and will be an invaluable ally for those of us on the front lines fighting this scourge.”
Auburn, Alabama– Multiple agencies in Lee County have gotten together this year to discuss the growing problem of sex and human trafficking. “[There are] kids [who] don’t really have a way to make money, a lot of times they have to do things that they don’t like to do in order to get food, to get shelter,” Teresa Collier, an intelligence analyst, said. “So a lot of times what we see are those runaway kids, they’re engaging in survival sex.”
Sacramento, California — With signers from 192 countries, anti-trafficking expert Laila Mickelwait’s “Traffickinghub” petition to shut down Pornhub for allegedly enabling and profiting from the sex trafficking and rape of women and children on the site has surpassed one million signatures.
Mississippi– A human trafficking bill championed by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn survived the Senate on committee deadline day Tuesday. HB 1559 was designed to directly address the housing service gap for minors who are trafficking victims.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) needs to act now, according to the bishops, because first “there are direct victims: the persons used in the productions. Many have their consent (even if technically legal) compromised by desperate circumstances while, for others, consent is completely absent.”
“The department rightly pursues human traffickers; however, virtually unchecked proliferation of pornography fuels the demand that frequently results in commercial sexual exploitation,” said the bishops. Unprecedented, unlimited, and anonymous access to pornography via modern technology has led users to seek more and more extreme videos.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Human traffickers aren’t stopping despite the health threats from COVID-19—and neither will we cease our efforts to stop them. It is abhorrent that unscrupulous individuals would take advantage of the pandemic and try to lure people through the use of force, fraud or coercion for nefarious purposes when so many find themselves on hard times. We need to continue to be vigilant in our fight to combat human trafficking. Know the signs of human trafficking, and if you see something, say something
AUSTIN – Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that his office, leading the Human Trafficking Prevention Coordinating Council, released Phase I of a five-year strategic plan to halt and prevent human trafficking in Texas. The Coordinating Council is the first single entity in the state to focus solely on coordinating efforts to combat human trafficking, and the strategic plan uses a multi-phased, integrative approach to eradicating and preventing this heinous crime.
A law passed by Congress in 2005 mandated that the Justice Department provide research, statistical review and analysis of severe trafficking of persons every two years in order to know the scope of the problem. Unfortunately, only one was ever done, in 2009.
This new bill will mandate that a comprehensive national study on human trafficking will be conducted every two years there will be statistical information available to the public to see as well as help experts in human trafficking to learn how human traffickers are currently operating and how to stop them. Kevin Malone, president of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking, said that these national studies “would be a tremendous help because a lot of people don’t believe the problem exists.”
“The anti-trafficking community received a major shot in the arm this morning with President Trump’s announcement,” said Lance Lemmonds of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking. “President Trump has committed more federal resources and more national focus on combating the systematic buying and selling of our nation’s kids than any administration in history.”
On January 31, 2020, “Trump signed an executive order Friday creating a position within his domestic policy team dedicated solely to fighting human trafficking. The order proposes an additional $42 million in funding for service programs and prosecutions…The order also establishes a federal working group on housing for trafficking survivors and a website listing the government’s anti-trafficking resources.”
New York Senator Alessandra Biaggi noted that “human-traffickers rely heavily on public transportation to move their victims, in plain sight, across the country.” In his veto memo, Cuomo noted that the New York Interagency Task Force Against Human Trafficking already offers a training that “meets the minimum requirements” outlined in Biaggi’s bill.
Weeks after a human trafficking sting netted more than 100 arrests in Hillsborough County, FL. commissioners took a step Wednesday to eradicate forced labor, domestic servitude and sexual exploitation within its borders.
Radisson Hotel Group announced a partnership with ECPAT-USA, a policy organization seeking to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and has become the latest hospitality company to sign the organization’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, joining several hotel, airline and travel management companies.
A bill that would decriminalize the selling and buying of sex in the nation’s capital will NOT move forward this year, lawmakers said, after an emotional hearing and thousands of emails revealed deep divisions among D.C. residents. Similar proposals in New York and Massachusetts, among other states, have also failed to gain ground.
The Senate Education Committee unanimously passed the bill on Tuesday. The curriculum would be part of public schools’ health education and would focus on how to recognize and understand human trafficking.
Ohio lawmakers proposed a bill to create a public registry that will include the names of people who are convicted of buying sexual services. The bill’s goal is to increase penalties for johns and pimps.
U.S. District Judge Miranda Du in Reno, NV, said in her ruling “that plaintiffs were unlawfully forced into prostitution and sex trafficked in Nevada and other states is not sufficiently traceable to Nevada laws … as opposed to other factors, namely the illicit behaviors of private bad actors.”
“The real issue lies in demand for sex with young people, with millions of Americans seeking out and purchasing sex with our most vulnerable citizens. As more and more buyers enter the market, sex trafficking of vulnerable youth will increase exponentially because of the statutory protections afforded by legalized prostitution.” writes Kevin Malone, President of the U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking.
Dane County, WI Executive Joe Parisi announced that he’s including $80,000 in his 2020 budge to create a new position for Project Respect, a program that helps juvenile and adult survivors of trafficking.
The bill at the center of the hearing would amend existing city laws to eliminate criminal penalties for selling or buying sex in the District. If passed, it would make the District the only U.S. jurisdiction to legalize prostitution, outside of some areas of Nevada where legal brothels exist. Prostitution involving minors and coercing others to engage in sex work against their will would remain illegal.
A diversion program for victims of human trafficking is spreading to cities around the country. The model has roots in Columbus, Ohio, where a judge decided to direct women toward rehabilitation instead of jail.
State leaders, law enforcement and experts in the field of trafficking joined survivors at the Human Trafficking Summit Monday in Orlando. Speaking at the summit, Governor Ron DeSantis said ending sex trafficking begins with prosecuting traffickers and clients.
News that Epstein, a billionaire who made his money as a financier, used Teterboro as home base for his fleet of private planes, and that he allegedly trafficked underage girls through the airport, was first reported last week by NorthJersey.com and the USA TODAY NETWORK.
Attorney General Ashley Moody held a meeting Wednesday with the Statewide Council on Human trafficking in Tampa. Hillsborough County Sheriff Chronister and Pasco County Sheriff Nocco spoke to address the Super Bowl being held in Tampa in 2021.
Alexander Acosta, the US labor secretary under fire for having granted Jeffrey Epstein immunity from federal prosecution in 2008, after the billionaire was investigated for having run a child sex trafficking ring, is proposing 80% funding cuts for the government agency that combats child sex trafficking.
Democratic Hawaii Gov. David Ige signed the legislation, which passed unanimously in the House and Senate, that rids victims of sex trafficking — even those who cannot prove they were trafficked — from prostitution convictions, so as long as they are not convicted of other crimes for three years, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The judgment means Backpage.com, LLC, Website Technologies, LLC, Posting Solutions, LLC, and Amstel River Holdings, LLC will have their certificates of formation cancelled 31 days after the current federal criminal charges against the company are resolved.
State lawmakers are pushing a bill that would create a public database, similar to the state’s registry of sex offenders, that would list the names, photographs and addresses of pimps and johns who are convicted.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to human trafficking. My bill is a commonsense solution to hold countries accountable. Understanding where this money comes from and where it’s going gives countries the ability to crack down on these crimes.
ICE says there were 849 human trafficking investigations in 2018, they say there were 1,500 arrests and 538 convictions and the agency wants people partaking in big events to be on the lookout for possible victims.
“We are excited to build this Human Trafficking Unit with dedicated staff who will work every day to protect our state’s most vulnerable and put buyers and traffickers behind bars,” Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement.
Laws cracking down on human trafficking are on the books in all 50 states, but convictions are notoriously elusive, and state prosecutors haven’t come close to matching the success their federal counterparts have had in winning cases.
“As I always say, every issue does not necessarily need a law if people are willing to take on these issues voluntarily,” Attorney General Ashley Moody, who chairs the statewide Council on Human Trafficking, said Friday during a meeting of the panel.
Traffickers who sell women and children for sex in Nebraska could have their phones tapped by law enforcement and face prosecution years or even decades after their crimes under a sweeping new bill set for legislative debate.
A Tuscon, AZ. man who was a high school volleyball coach will avoid jail time after having been convicted of having sex with one of his players. The roommate of Robert Forman II roommate became suspicious that she might be an underage student player as well as the victim’s parents then saw their daughter leaving Forman’s house.
The posters are required to be placed in or near bathrooms in hotels, airports, train and bus stations, urgent care centers, emergency rooms, strip clubs, women’s health centers, abortion facilities, family planning clinics, truck stops, roadside rest areas and more.
Strip clubs will be classified as adult theaters to ensure they’ll be regulated by the state under a legislative crackdown aimed at preventing human trafficking. Bill classifies strip clubs as adult theater so state can regulate them, protect childrenStuart Rep. Toby Overdorf co-sponsored House Bill 851 and added the adult-theater classification, in part to ensure strip club owners don’t hire underage employees.
The vote was 112-0 Thursday for the bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Patricia Williams of Fort Lauderdale and Republican Rep. Rene Plasencia of Titusville, FL. The measure would include human trafficking in the health classes currently taught in Florida public schools.
“The support of my administration and the strength of the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition is having an impact, not only in Central Texas, but throughout the state,” Det. Joseph Scaramucci told KWTX.
Scaramucci was the keynote speaker at the fundraising luncheon at the Austin Country Club in Austin, TX. Within one hour, the event raised more than $300,000.
Human trafficking cases initiated in fed court dropped 29% last yr. This survivor has a message for people who think it’s not happening here: “I was trafficked in Jacksonville in the year 2013 for about nine months… It’s definitely happening in Jacksonville.” said Jenna Bourne
When state Rep. Vincent Pedone, D-Worcester, stepped up to Statehouse podium in 2006 to call for the regulation of massage therapy, he was quickly met by laughter and catcalls that filled the chamber and cut him short. The bill that passed that day — despite lawmakers’ laughter, but policymakers and society still don’t take massage, and the human traffickers who increasingly hide behind it, seriously.
Nevada lawmakers are considering a bill that takes the first step toward treating survivors of child sex exploitation as victims, not criminals. Assembly Bill 151 ensures Nevada’s compliance with federal law requiring states to tweak their child abuse and neglect statutes to include sex trafficking.
Unlike the portrayals popularized by Liam Neeson’s 2008 film thriller, human trafficking victims are rarely snatched during vacation getaways or from coffee shops, and they are rarely sympathetic characters with squeaky clean backgrounds, Libby Coles, chairwoman of the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission.
“They answer misleading ads for “massage” work, are forced to live in substandard conditions, work illegal hours “on call,” and made to feel through fear and violence that they have no choice but to comply, says Rep. Yvonne Lopez of New Jersey.
Punish buyers. Provide services to victims. Raise awareness at sites where human trafficking takes place the most. Those were the top-line recommendations Monday as the Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee heard testimony from experts on the issue.
The state of Nevada’s Senate Bill 7, if adopted, would additionally provide that a customer who violates such a prohibition by knowingly soliciting a child who is less than 14 years of age for prostitution is committing a sex trafficking crime, and therefore is guilty of a Category A Felony, life in prison with possible parole after 15 years.
Under House Bill 397, which is a safe harbor law sponsored by Rep. Mary Elizabeth Coleman, R-Arnold, those who were under the age of 18 when convicted of prostitution could apply to court for a clean slate. Under the current law, defendants have to prove they were coerced into prostitution.
The Republican leader of the Mississippi House is pushing a bill that he says could protect children who are victims of sex trafficking. House Bill 571 would prevent charges from being filed against trafficking victims who are younger than 18. The minor would be taken into protective custody and counseling would be provided.
COMMITTED TO ERADICATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING: President Trump has signed four bills in recent weeks that demonstrate the bipartisan commitment to end human trafficking. oday, the President is signing the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (S. 1862) which tightens criteria for whether countries are meeting standards for eliminating trafficking.
After 15 years in prison, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has granted full clemency to Cyntoia Brown.
Brown, a sex trafficking victim serving a life sentence for the 2004 murder of a man who payed her to have sex as a child. Cyntoia was 16 years old when she shot and killed the 43 year old man.
NASHVILLE — U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Friday that a colleague, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, will now lead congressional efforts to end modern slavery across the globe after the Chattanoogan leaves office next week.
“For years, Senator Portman has been a champion in Congress in the fight against human trafficking here at home, and I can think of no one better to take up the mantle in the global fight against this scourge on humanity as I depart the Senate,” Corker stated Friday in a news release.
Victims of sex trafficking — a $99 million criminal enterprise in Dallas, TX. each year alone — are penalized by our criminal justice system and our society for sexual acts they are forced into by traffickers who are essentially modern-day slave owners.
tate Rep. Jon Hardister is drafting legislation for introduction in 2019 that’s meant to help prevent school-age children from falling victim to human trafficking – a problem Hardister and an increasing number of others say is a fast growing threat in North Carolina. Thirty-five states have adopted some form of “Erin’s Law,” which requires schools to teach a prevention-oriented program on sexual abuse and trafficking.
Tennessee Governor Haslam was speaking at an event when Justin Lang, a higher-education professional stepped up to the mic during the audience question portion. “As a victim of sex trafficking and assault, this is an unjust sentence in the first place,” Lang said. Under Tennessee law, all minors engaged in sex work are legally considered victims of sex trafficking. “She has not been treated as a victim of trafficking and not given the justice she deserves.”
A bill that would seek to amend state law involving obscenity, dealing with issues like revenge pornography and human trafficking, was the only bill filed Wednesday at the state capitol in Little Rock. A person found guilty could face up to a year in jail or a $500 fine, or both “for each prohibited image, video or audio depiction, or website found to be accessible at the time of the offense.”
Human trafficking. Modern-day slavery. Human smuggling. Sex trafficking. These are all things that happen in faraway places and are not part of my world — or so I thought. During the 2018 election cycle, I was shocked to see candidates’ ads about stopping human trafficking in Atlanta. “Atlanta?!” I thought. Yes, Atlanta.
Attorney Robert Poole pleaded not guilty Monday to 15 charges including human trafficking of a minor and rape. A police investigation into human trafficking charges against prominent conservative activist and former judge Tim Nolan led to a tip about Poole, said Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear Nov. 16 in a news release. The 50-year-old Poole was arrested Nov. 16 at his Erlanger law office. A Kenton County grand jury indicted Poole on sex crimes charges.
It’s inside Smithfield High School teacher Matt Ployd’s government class where Monica’s Law came to life. Students knew they had an assignment coming up where they would have to make a mock bill to demonstrate they knew how a bill becomes law. But the students had a better idea.
At a Wednesday press conference, Abbott appeared with leaders of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to announce their partnership, which aims to stop labor and sex trafficking in bars and restaurants where alcohol is sold.
–On Wednesday, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office filed felony charges against Lucion Lee Edward Banks (35), for Human Trafficking and Pimping a 14-year-old female victim. The defendant is currently held at the San Luis Obispo County Jail with bail set at one million dollars.
A child in Pennsylvania can be married at any age, with parental consent or if a court decides marriage is in the child’s best interest. A child spouse, however, cannot file for divorce, sign binding contracts such as housing agreements, or take other legal action, because a child remains a minor under the law.