Committee okays bill aimed to protect child sex trafficking victims

Monitor staff
Published: 1/17/2019 5:30:39 PM

A bill aimed to protect child sex trafficking victims from being charged with non-violent crimes has passed its first hurdle to becoming law.

HB 189, which would stop juveniles who are raped or forced into labor from being charged with misdemeanors and class B felonies, was unanimously greenlit by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Thursday, according to the New Hampshire Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. It will be voted on next by the full House.

Rep. Linda Massimilla, who filed the bill, said many victims of human trafficking commit crimes under the influence of their captors or for purposes of survival. Those who commit non-violent crimes should be being offered help from the state, not handed criminal records, Massimilla said.

Seven states have already passed similar legislation, Massimilla said. Individuals under 18 already can’t be charged with prostitution; New Hampshire is one of 25 states that have passed that law.




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