District 26 State Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D) said minors who have been kidnapped and made to do things against their will should not be punished further by the justice system, even though they have technically engaged in conduct that violates prostitution laws.
Van de Putte wants to see that those who have been victimized by human traffickers are not charged with crimes because “they’re too young, and they are really compelled. They are forced and coerced. It’s a different sort of crime in that there has not been consensus.”
Van de Putte said tough laws have had an effect on catching human traffickers, and now the focus must turn to those who have been rescued – starting with the minors’ victim diversion program, which provides services, helps victims to find homes, and provides victims an opportunity to seek civil action against their traffickers.
Van de Putte has filed Senate Bills 92, 93 and 94 to achieve those goals, and to continue the Human Trafficking Prevention Task Force for two more years.