Human Traffic Watch

Oregon lawmakers focus on pair of sex-trafficking bills

In Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking on May 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm

 The Oregon Senate passed a complex bill cracking down on child sex trafficking Tuesday, sending the legislation to the House and marking the bill as the main vehicle for legislation on the issue this year.

But the provisions of Senate Bill 673, introduced by Sens. Betsy Close, R-Albany, and Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, are still in flux.

Senate amendments weakened some of the bill’s penalties, Close said, which she hopes to restore once the bill reaches the House Judiciary Committee.

“I have faith in those that will be handling the bill,” said Close. “It’s not just about getting a bill, it’s about getting the right bill.”

The Senate legislation was one of a flurry of bills aiming to toughen Oregon’s laws on child prostitution. Many of those bills stalled, including one written by Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, which would have allowed children charged with prostitution to claim their youth as a defense in court. Social workers say a prostitution arrest record can leave an emotional scar on children.

One other proposal, House Bill 2334, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Tomei, D-Milwaukie, was passed unanimously by the House April 25. It would allow police to arrest pimps for attempting to compel prostitution.

Source: Oregon Live

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