HARRISBURG – The Senate passed legislation today that will combat human trafficking by enacting stronger penalties against all individuals who support the exploitation of victims, according to Senator Judy Ward (R-30), who supported the bill.
Senate Bill 60 would increase penalties against any individual who patronizes a victim of human trafficking, including any individual who recruits, solicits, advertises, transports, or profits off a human trafficking victim. Tougher penalties are also levied for offenses committed against minors.
“Human trafficking affects every community in Pennsylvania, and the victims face unimaginable circumstances that no person should ever have to endure,” Ward said. “This approach creates tougher punishments for every offender who contributes to the victimization of innocent people, from the monsters who abduct young people to the offenders who pay to abuse them.”
Under the bill, the most serious offenders who directly participate in the trafficking of minors for prostitution and related crimes could face imprisonment of 40 years or more. Fines and penalties against offenders who solicit the services of human trafficking victims would also see significant increases, including fines of up to $50,000 for repeat offenders.
All fines collected under the bill would be deposited into special funds to prevent human trafficking and support sexually exploited children.
The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner (717) 787-5490