Your action is needed NOW!
To all Maryland Advocates:
The asset forfeiture bill is HB 713 , was heard on February 19 in Judiciary Committee. It has 80 cosponsors in the House, 17 of them members of the Judiciary Committee! That is an amazing show of support, but… CHAIRMAN VALLARIO HAS THE UNILATERAL POWER TO SUPPRESS THIS BILL OR BRING IT OUT FOR A VOTE. NOW IS THE TIME TO CALL MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY AND TELL THEM YOU EXPECT A COMPROMISE TO BE WORKED OUT AND THIS BILL TO BE BROUGHT TO A VOTE!!!!!!! Here is a link to the committee members:
CONTACT THE GOVERNOR: Shared Hope has partnered with Backyard Broadcast to run a month-long campaign, March 1-31. The goal: drive attention to the issue of child sex trafficking and weak state laws. The tactic: have 1,000 people in each state write to their Governor letting them know the state grade, where they can find more information about how their state scored, and asking them to make the issue of child sex trafficking a priority in their state. The timing of this campaign is perfect for the Maryland legislative process!! Maryland’s grade is a D! Tell Governor O’Malley you want Chairman Vallario of the Judiciary Committee to bring HB 713 out for a vote. You must do this now…we only have a few weeks! Go to www.raiseyourgrade.org
Other bills to support:
Three other human trafficking bills will be heard on Tuesday, February 26 at 1 pm in Judiciary Committee
- HB 943-Abduction of a child under 16 for purposes of prostitution needs to be raised to a felony (currently is a misdemeanor).
- HB 933-Ignorance of victim’s age is not a defense for a prosecution under the human trafficking law.
- SB 215/ HB 1188-Trafficking of an 18-20 year old is raised a felony. Currently it is a misdemeanor unless force, fraud, or coercion is proven.
- SB215 passed the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on 2/28. Next step is vote in full Senate.
Here is a brief background on the need for asset forfeiture:
Sex trafficking is a form of human trafficking defined as the commercial sexual exploitation of an adult by force, fraud or coercion. If the victim is under 18 years of age, the child is by definition a victim of sex trafficking without the need to prove force, fraud or coercion. In Maryland, as in all states, our children are being lured or forced into the commercial sex industry. The average age nationally is 13 years old. These children become trauma bonded to their pimps, and their forced behavior causes them to be seen as criminals; thus they are regularly sentenced to juvenile detention for the crime committed against them while their traffickers suffer no significant consequences. Assets gained by convicted pimps and traffickers should be seized and some of those assets should be utilized to fund services for their victims. There is no other government funding, either state or federal, for restorative services for this marginalized population. Instead, as stated, they are criminalized for the crimes committed against them and receive no services to help them recover from the trauma endured.
- 2013 Bill Summaries
- 2013 Issue Brief_HB933 Mistake of age
- 2013 Issue Brief_SB215_HB1188 Victims under age 21
- 2013 Issue Brief_HB943 Abduction penalty
- 2013 Issue Brief_HB713 Asset forfeiture
- 2013 Issue Brief_HB1056 Law Enforcement Training
- Four talking points on Asset Forfeiture
- A summary of asset forfeiture provisions in other states Asset Forfeiture State Index
- Abell Report on Sex Trafficking in Baltimore – Released January 2013
- In response to the Abell report WYPR Dan Rodricks hosted a special segment on Sex Trafficking in Baltimore
- An article from the Baltimore Sun – (1-14-2013) - Online Brothels
- CBS Baltimore newscast (1-15-2013) - Sex Trafficking is a Growing Problem in Baltimore