Category: Connecticut

Lawmakers Tackle Human Trafficking with Several Bills

Legislators are taking aim at human trafficking this session with proposed laws that would help victims by making it easier to erase an arrest record and by requiring hotels and motels to stop offering hourly rates. HB 5557 proposed by Rep. Jillian Gilchrest, D-West Hartford, who heads the state’s Trafficking in Persons Council, would make it easier for victims to have a conviction erased if their crime is related to victimization due to human trafficking.

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After Hearst probe, state to combat human trafficking

In Connecticut legislators and advocates want ways to combat human trafficking. They want increased prevention efforts and services to support women and children who are at a higher risk to exploitation. The meeting that legislators had this week want to expand Connecticut’s definition of sex trafficking. They also want victims not to be charged with trafficking if their trafficker made them recruit other kids.

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Police: Ellington man, owner of ‘sex dungeon’ arrested again in human trafficking investigation

Simon Hessler, 47, of Ellington, CT, has been charged with four counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and four counts of risk of injury to a child. Hessler was previously arrested last year after seeking out girls between the ages of 10 and 12 online with the intent to train a young girl in his “slave quarters” and have sex with the girl.

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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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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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Milton man pleads guilty to sex trafficking

A Milton man accused of trafficking women for sex in four states has pleaded guilty in federal court. Duhamel Cassagnol, 30, is due to be sentenced Dec. 18 on charges of sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion; engaging in a conspiracy to commit sex trafficking; and transporting an individual for prostitution in federal court in Boston.

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