HB 1213 Minor victims of sex trafficking; arrest and prosecution.
Provides that no minor shall be subject to arrest, delinquency charges, or prosecution for (i) a status offense, (ii) an act that would be a misdemeanor if committed by an adult, or (iii) an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult other than a violent juvenile felony if the minor (a) is a victim of sex trafficking or severe forms of trafficking and (b) committed such offense as a direct result of being solicited, invited, recruited, encouraged, forced, intimidated, or deceived by another to engage in acts of prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse for money or its equivalent, regardless of whether any other person has been charged or convicted of an offense related to the sex trafficking of such minor. The bill also clarifies that it is not a defense to a commercial sex trafficking charge where the adult committed such violation with a person under 18 years of age that such person under 18 years of age consented to any of the prohibited acts.
The bill also provides that the local department of social services shall refer any child suspected or determined to be a victim of sex trafficking to an available victim assistance organization that provides comprehensive trauma-informed services designed to alleviate the adverse effects of trafficking and victimization and to aid in the child’s healing, including assistance with case management, placement, access to educational and legal services, and mental health services.
01/18/22 House: Presented and ordered printed 22103082D