Governor Jerry Brown has signed legislation to help prevent sex trafficking crimes involving minors in California.
Authored by Senator Mark Leno, D-San Rafael, and signed into law Monday, the bill gives prosecutors new tools to help ensure that criminals who are convicted of sex trafficking crimes are denied access to the resources, equipment, and cash flow that would allow them to operate and commit future crimes.
“Today we are one step closer to dismantling the economic infrastructure that convicted child sex traffickers rely on to continue to lure young people into the sex trade,” Senator Leno said in a prepared statement.
“In addition to taking away the lucrative profits from these horrendous crimes, we are providing much-needed financial support for increased investigations and victim services.”
The California Department of Justice estimates that 65,000 children were lured into the sex trade in California between 2009 and 2010. Despite that, only 13 individuals were sent to state prison for human trafficking during that time.
To help dismantle the economic infrastructure that these criminal enterprises rely upon, SB 1133 expands the list of assets that are subject to forfeiture upon conviction of a sex trafficking crime.
“With this new law, California prosecutors and law enforcement officials will be able to seize assets of human traffickers, cripple their operations and aid victims,” said Attorney General Kamala D. Harris.
“Human trafficking is big business in California. It is a high profit criminal industry that is expanding rapidly across the globe, including here in California.”
The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2013.