Category: States

Human Trafficking is the Focus of New Place of Hope Initiative

The Place of Hope held an inaugural Human Trafficking Awareness Luncheon at St Lucy Catholic Church in Highland Beach. Place of Hope, Palm Beach County’s largest children’s organization; the Boca West Children’s Foundation; and other partners are fighting to interrupt the recruitment of more young people into the human trafficking system with another weapon – face-to-face education. Florida ranks 3rd in the nation for reported cases of human trafficking.

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Human trafficking survivor shares how she fell victim after Tinder date

When she was 19 she was planning to join the Air Force and moved to California, where she met someone on Tinder and eventually agreed to move in with him. Before she moved in he took her out to a nice dinner, placed her purse with her phone, keys and wallet on his chair and asked her how she was going to pay for what he was providing. “He said ‘OK now you’re going to be a stripper and an escort’ and the only thing I could say was ‘OK,’” Skirvin said. “One of the reasons human trafficking has escalated exponentially is that there is so much reward and there’s very little risk … there is very little chance they’ll get caught, and if they do a lot of times they’re not getting prosecuted,” Reyes said.

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District Attorney hails $3 million grant to schools to fight human trafficking

Public schools in San Diego County will soon be playing a much bigger role in keeping students safe. Their focus is on protecting children from human traffickers. UBS Optimus Foundation, associated with UBS, a global financial services company is providing a $3 million grant to a new group called the San Diego Trafficking Prevention Collective. The goal of the Collective is to reach students through three programs that emphasize education, empowerment and intervention.

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Slavery in the shadows: Survivor tells her painful story for Human Trafficking Awareness Month

A modeling gig set up by her boyfriend was the first night Sara was sexually assaulted. What followed was about six months of drug-hazed sexual servitude. The man she thought was her boyfriend became her trafficker. Sara was trafficked for sex from the Naples area to Miami, Tampa and Orlando in 2012. She was 21 at the time. “You don’t have to be broken,” she said. “It’s not the same recovery road for everyone. Not everyone will feel how I feel. Not everyone will surpass trauma the same way. It’s about how bad you want out.”

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How to spot and stop a human trafficking event

Des Moines has been ranked in the top 100 cities as a human trafficking cite…Last year, the Altoona PD trained all their law enforcement and first responders on how to spot it. Detective Harmon says that parents should know what is on their child’s cell phone at all times. He explains that most kids, ages 14 to 16, get picked up after meeting someone on the internet and through apps.

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Understanding is key in human trafficking awareness

Locally, on January 25th, End Slavery Cincinnati and The Salvation Army of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky will present the 2019 Anti-Human Trafficking Conference at the American Red Cross of Cincinnati. The conference will educate participants on improving the healthcare response to human trafficking, strategies to aid and provide legal services to survivors, and other topics within a selection of 12 workshops. There will also be a keynote address on advocacy delivered by a panel of human trafficking survivors.

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Human trafficking investigators see results in 9 months with ‘dedicated resources’

The Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force has seen roughly as much activity in its first nine months of full-time work as it did in four years of part-time work, according to officials. From April 2018 to the end of December, 62 sex buyers and eight traffickers were charged in Stearns County, officials reported. “I don’t think there’s any case out there that’s more complicated or dynamic than these types of cases in sex trafficking,” said Jeff Oxton, St. Cloud assistant police chief. “And so that’s why we need the dedicated resources.”

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A Victim-Centered Approach to Sex Trafficking is Critical

Since January is Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month, it is worth repeating for those unfamiliar with this modern-day slavery that human trafficking is the second-largest and the fastest-growing global crime, yielding an estimated $32 billion annually in profits. And the most profitable subcategory of human trafficking, with an estimated 21 million victims worldwide, is sex trafficking of women and children.

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In Bethseda, MD. Marriott International today announced that, as of this month, it has successfully trained 500,000 hotel workers to spot the signs of human trafficking in its hotels and how to respond if they do, marking a watershed moment in the global fight against this multinational crime. Sheraton Times Square hotel workers learn signs of human trafficking as part of Marriott International’s mandatory awareness training.

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‘All he sees her as is a dollar sign’ Akron court starts program for women trapped in human trafficking

“I think it was six years I’m in and out of cars right here on these streets of Akron, Ohio until one night I ended up on a street and I remember screaming out to God, kill me or save me but don’t let me live like this,” Angel said. God didn’t leave Angel in that world. She was found her when she was drug addicted and hopeless and sitting in prison. But she’s not in that place anymore.

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3 in Houston accused of sex trafficking of Fort Worth woman, reports say

Three Houston, TX. people were arrested in Houston on charges of sex trafficking after a woman from Fort Worth called her mother for help in December, saying she was being forced into prostitution, according to reports. When Kevin Winston asked her to become his prostitute, the woman resisted, but according to media reports Winston is accused of beating and forcing her into prostitution.

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Hotel employees across Minnesota now trained to spot signs of sex trafficking

Industry experts say the training is designed to create a level of awareness – especially in suspicious situations. “It’s those things that are out of the ordinary,” said Howard Anderson, a longtime member of the Minnesota Lodging Association. “People are asking for exit rooms, near exits, or they want to pay cash. They don’t want to give their license plates.”

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FBI: 30-40 children sex trafficked within metro Detroit during Detroit Auto Show

According to Michael Glennon with the Detroit, MI. FBI, there is a 280-300 percent increase in sex trafficking workers in the area. Ten percent of them are under the age of 18. “We urge members of the public to educate themselves on these heinous crimes so they recognize the indicators. An educated public can help law enforcement rescue individuals in these situations and ensure those committing these acts are punished.”

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Violent sex offender arrested again after woman accuses him of sex trafficking

Jamarius Strickland of Memphis, TN. was again taken into custody on Tuesday and charged with trafficking for commercial sex acts. According to the victim, Strickland and another woman recruited her. Court documents state he “promised to provide protection, food clothing and personal needs” to a woman “as long as she gave him the money received from going on sex dates with men.”

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Local group fighting to stop human trafficking near BCS

January is human trafficking awareness month. In Bryan, TX. a local group is looking to educate others about the growing trend. “The fact that some of the clients that I work with and some of the kiddos that I love are susceptible to this injustice makes me extremely passionate about it. It feels really close to home.”

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St. Petersburg Police arrest 7 people accused of sexually exploiting teen boys

Seven people in St. Petersburg, FL. have been arrested for human trafficking involving two teenage victims. Investigators believe one victim was lured through Discord, an online gaming app that allows direct communication and the other victim was lured from his family with promises of a better life, instead he was moved into a filthy trailer and used as a sex slave for nearly a year.

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CT law brings more arrests, awareness of human trafficking

A state law passed in 2016 to combat human trafficking has resulted in more arrests while raising local awareness of the often-invisible crime, which has been called modern-day slavery, experts say. Trafficking is one of the biggest challenges faced by law enforcement, and one that especially benefits from public awareness, said Krishna Patel, who worked with the U.S. attorney’s office for Connecticut on trafficking cases.

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Trafficking risk surprising in rural Kansas

January is a month devoted to raising awareness of human trafficking, and Marissa Woodmansee, director of Juvenile Services for Barton County, did her part Saturday afternoon at a public informational event at the Great Bend Public Library. She shared some background on the evolution of her own human trafficking awareness, and recent developments of importance to the community, especially parents of pre-teens and teens. “It’s important to understand what human trafficking is and what it looks like,” she said. According to the website for the Department of Homeland Security, human trafficking is modern-day slavery.

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Jobs must be part of the solution to human trafficking

Human trafficking doesn’t just happen in faraway places like India’s brick kilns or Cambodia’s brothels. Over 8,500 victims of human trafficking cases were reported in the United States last year, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. There is no greater blow to human dignity than a person being forced to perform work or sex acts against their will.

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Twiss: Human trafficking exists locally

Capt. Carol Twiss was featured speaker at a recent meeting of the Hill Country Republican Club in Kerr County, TX. informing attendees on “Human Trafficking,” its definition and what everyday citizens can look for in their neighborhoods and hometowns.

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2nd Raleigh man charged after police say 14-year-old held in ‘sexual servitude’

Rudolph and Gambrell are both facing the same charges and are both being held in the Wake County Detention Center — A second man in Raleigh, N.C. is facing child prostitution and trafficking charges after police say a 14-year-old was held in “sexual servitude.”Gambrell is being held under a $500,000 secured bond and Rudolph is being held without bond.

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St. Pete to become ‘trafficking free zone’

The trafficking free zone is USIAHT’s flagship demand reduction program with a modular approach based upon proven practices from around the United States. St. Pete is the latest city to implement this program declaring themselves a ‘trafficking free zone’. A police task force was designed to focus on arresting and prosecuting sex buyers instead of those who are being sold.

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Human trafficking crackdown continues in PA

To mark January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month, officials from Pennsylvania DOT, the Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania State Police, and Governor Tom Wolf’s administration held a press conference to highlight PennDOT’s work. With the start of the new year, the commonwealth is working to roll out a law aimed at protecting sexually exploited children.

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Resources for combating human trafficking

Human Trafficking is prevalent, unfortunately, even in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg, PA – Executives from the Pennsylvania departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Human Services (DHS), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) joined by advocates and a human trafficking survivor today to discuss efforts to combat human trafficking and educate the public on the issue.

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Our View: Learn to spot sex trafficking

Sexual exploitation and the buying and selling of our children and vulnerable others “happens here in Duluth every day,” Shunu Shrestha of the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault, or PAVSA, said in an interview a year ago with the News Tribune Editorial Board.

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Bond raised for accused sex traffickers after public outcry

Responding to community outrage in New Orleans, LA. over what critics slammed as low bail amounts set for two sex-trafficking suspects, a judge Thursday dramatically increased the bail amounts after hearing graphic testimony from a State Police investigator. Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell raised the bail for Jovan Martin from $20,000 to $350,000, and for Elbert Riascos from $90,000 to $900,000, declaring the suspects a “danger to the community.”

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Caesars Entertainment Announces New Global Commitments to Eradicate Exploitation of Vulnerable Individuals

Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, NV. the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment provider, is strengthening its commitment to end human trafficking in partnership with two global organizations that lead the fight to prevent and eradicate the issue. In observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, Caesars announced it has committed to combat commercial sexual exploitation of children by signing ECPAT’s Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct which provides a platform for companies to share best practices to end human trafficking.

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When a sex-trafficking victim was forced into a jail cell near her pimps, we learned something about modern slavery

An inexcusable screw-up by U.S. marshals in federal court in Fort Worth could have tanked a case against three pimps who — let’s call it what it is — enslaved an underage girl through threats and manipulation. In a circumstance that seems all but unthinkable, the victim, under arrest for her own alleged crimes, was placed in a holding cell adjacent to the very men she was supposed to take the stand against.

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City Attorney Mara W. Elliott highlights services for human trafficking victims Read more: San Diego Community News Group – Column City Attorney Mara W Elliott highlights services for human trafficking victims

At $800 million annually, sex trafficking is second only to drug trafficking among underground economies in San Diego County, CA. They didn’t enter this nightmare with open eyes. More likely, they were lured into the life with promises of love, protection, adventure, or opportunity.

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Mountain View siblings arrested, suspected of human trafficking

Police in Mountain View, CA. have arrested a brother and sister suspected of bringing Guatemalan families and minors to the United States and subjecting them to forced labor and sexual slavery. Carlos Garza, 33, and Evelia De Maria Galvez, 41, were arrested on Dec. 20 without incident. Garza is suspected of multiple counts of human trafficking and Galvez is suspected of being an accessory to a crime and intimidating a victim.

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Texas Matters: A Grim Look At Sex Trafficking

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There are more than 300-thousand victims of human trafficking in Texas including almost 80 thousand minors and youth victims. That’s according to a study by the Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault at the University of Texas. Human sex trafficking is a multibillion dollar business that has made use of the open internet for marketing and recruiting of victims. This is a look at how sex is sold online – how there are efforts to shut down those online sites – and how the traffickers adapt.

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Sen. Bob Corker: Rob Portman will take over lead in human-trafficking battle

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.

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Mother of alleged sex trafficking victim hopeful daughter is still alive

The mother of a missing Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania college student, who is an alleged victim of sex trafficking, said she’s holding out hope her daughter is still alive and being held against her will, adding that the 20-year-old “doesn’t have the street knowledge to survive out there.” “Woney engaged in a vile form of exploitation, using force and other coercion to compel young women to engage in paid sex for his enrichment,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said.

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3 Louisiana men arrested for sex crimes with teenagers, children

In Baton Rouge, La. three Louisiana men have been arrested. Brian E. Thomas, 34, of Lake Arthur, and Quentin D. Coley, 57, of Greensburg, separately traveled to a hotel after they agreed to pay money to facilitate sex acts with an adult woman and a 13-year-old. While James Hankins, 55, of Sulphur also traveled to a hotel after he agreed to pay to have sex with an adult woman, a 13-year-old, and two 7-year-old children.

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Two men arrested for sex-trafficking 12-year-old girl, teen

Two Long Island, N.Y. men, including a “self-described Crips gang member,” were busted for the kidnapping and sex trafficking of two girls — one of whom was only 12 years old, police said Thursday. “I know she’s young,” Exavier told police “She looked like 15 or 16, but not 12 years old. ”Exavier also told cops “I was bringing her to the motel, if I don’t do it someone else will.”

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Missing teen rescued, 2 New Orleans men arrested in sex trafficking case: State Police

Louisiana State Police arrested Elbert Riascos, left, and Jovan Martin both faces charges of trafficking of a child for sex purposes. The investigation started with a tip from the National Human Trafficking Hotline. A press release from the agency states the hotline caller said the teen “was being held against her will, repeatedly raped, drugged and beaten.”

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Reported US Trafficking Cases on the Rise as Victims Seek Help by Texting

Cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline are expected to hit more than 11,000 by year’s end, the most in its 11-year history, its director, Caroline Diemar, said. The projected jump in reported cases illustrates that survivors are finding it easier to seek help, not that the rate of the crime is necessarily on the rise, Diemar told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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Houston man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for trafficking children for commercial sex

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Houston, TX. and the United Kingdom Border Force.
Jason Daniel Gandy, 41, received the 30-year sentence following his July 23 conviction on four counts of sex trafficking minors, one count of transporting minors, one count of sexually exploiting a child, and one count of transporting child pornography.

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Metro Detroit experts weigh in on how to protect children from human trafficking

Children in Detroit MI. are more at risk of becoming human trafficking targets while on their tablets than at any shopping center or public place, according to experts.
“These guys are out there and they’re hunting young girls just like you,” said Michael Glennon, a supervisory special agent with FBI Detroit, to a group of girls from several different high schools in the metro Detroit area.

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19 Accused Of Sex Trafficking At Westchester Residential Treatment Center

New York City, N.Y. FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. added, “Sex traffickers routinely prey on young people and those in our communities who are the most defenseless. As alleged, the defendants targeted vulnerable women and girls, including residents of a facility for at-risk children and adolescents, knowing that the victims would be more susceptible to their claims.

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2 Henderson men held on human trafficking charges; officials expect more arrests

Two Henderson men are being held in the County Jail of Rusk County, Texas on human trafficking charges, and officials say they expect more arrests in the case. Davis, 28, arrested at the scene is being held on three counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of human trafficking along with forcing a 26 year old women to have sex with a 12-year-old boy.

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Awareness for Human Trafficking

In Union, New Jersey Keyla M. Munoz, a victim specialist for the FBI Newark Division provided a presentation to Kean University students that explored the complexity of human trafficking. An example she used was how pimps would manipulate women into believing they would be models and stars in movies, getting them to unknowingly sign up for a system that aims to exploit them and their values.

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Not For Sale: Fighting Sex Trafficking As Super Bowl Nears

An Atlanta, Georgia-based faith organization dedicated to eradicating child sex trafficking is using technology to help victims of the crime receive help and even prevent them from entering what could be a lifetime of degradation and tragedy. The Super Bowl brings millions of people into the city and sex trafficking will ebb and flow with the event, just like business at restaurants, bars and adult establishments.”

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Police: Man charged in Raleigh kidnapping, statutory rape spurs human trafficking investigation

Olabi, 22, of Raleigh, N.C. caused parents to be concerned over a year ago when he was recruiting teens to work part time with the Carolina Youth Club. He’s now arrested after a routine traffic stop outside of Wellford, South Carolina that led to the discovery of a kidnapped 13-year-old girl. “Certainly her age was cause for concern and the girl’s attire was also a red flag. “She was not dressed appropriately for the weather, Officer R.A. Smith said.

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Boston man who forced Maine women to work as prostitutes gets 17 years

Rashad Sabree, 37, of Boston pleaded guilty in July to two counts of sex trafficking. When Sabree discovered text messages for help, he began assaulting one of the victims. A passing motorist, who witnessed the assault while driving on Interstate 95, called 911. Maine State Police responded and the defendant was arrested. “This case demonstrates the important role that the public can play in helping to protect those who are vulnerable,”

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Federal jury convicts 5 on charges they operated huge sex trafficking ring

The five defendants, from California, Texas and Illinois, were convicted in St. Paul, Minnesota on a range of counts including conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, money laundering and sex trafficking by use of force, fraud and coercion. Traffickers used phony bank accounts, created fictitious biographies and set up fraudulent marriages to assist the victims in getting visas. The women were forced to have sex with as many as 10 men a day, then told to pay back debts of $40,000 to 60,000, prosecutors said.

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Police: Des Moines man threatened to kill witness in human trafficking case

The accused took the victim to a truck stop in Altoona, Iowa with the intention of soliciting her for prostitution, police said. The victim told Nelson she did not want to prostitute; Nelson then fired gunshots into the air, according to a criminal complaint. The accused and the victim approached a person at the gas station to solicit sex; that person later called the police.

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‘Modern Hawaii was built on human trafficking’

“When I first decided that I wanted my platform to be on sex trafficking, my pageant director told me that I shouldn’t do it because it’s too dark. “The reality is we think of trafficking as an ‘over there’ issue. It’s something that could never happen here in the state of Hawaii … but it does.”

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Tennessee Governor Considering Clemency for Cyntoia Brown

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.”

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Self-professed ‘slave trainer’ accused of child prostitution and trafficking appears in court, wife files for divorce

Simon Hessler appeared Wednesday in Manchester Superior Court, where his case was transferred to Hartford Superior Court, which handles more serious matters. Charged last month with attempting to set up two days of “limitless sex” with a person he thought was a 10- to 12-year-old girl, Hessler was held on bail of $1 million for a court appearance set for Dec, 27.

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Revenge porn, human trafficking bill filed in state legislature

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.”

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