The following issue briefs provide a more comprehensive explanation of each of the components measured by the Protected Innocence Challenge Report Cards and highlight state statutes that align with the concept of the issue.Click on the issue number to view the issue brief.
Section 1: Criminalization of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
- 1.1 The state human trafficking law addresses sex trafficking and clearly defines a human trafficking victim as any minor under the age of 18 used in a commercial sex act without regard to use of force, fraud, or coercion, aligning to the federal trafficking law.
- 1.2 Commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) is identified as a separate and distinct offense from general sexual offenses, which may also be used to prosecute those who commit commercial sex offenses against minors.
- 1.3 CSEC or prostitution statutes refer to the sex trafficking statute to identify the commercially sexually exploited minor as a trafficking victim.
- 1.4 The state racketeering or gang crimes statute includes sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) offenses as predicate acts allowing the statute to be used to prosecute trafficking crimes.
Section 2: Criminal Provisions Addressing Demand
- 2.1 The state sex trafficking law can be applied to buyers of commercial sex acts with a victim of domestic minor sex trafficking.
- 2.2 Buyers of commercial sex acts with a minor can be prosecuted under CSEC laws.
- 2.3 Solicitation of prostitution laws differentiate between buying sex acts with an adult and buying sex acts with a minor under 18.
- 2.4 Penalties for buyers of commercial sex acts with minors are as high as federal penalties.
- 2.5 Using the Internet to lure, entice, or purchase, or attempt to lure, entice, or purchase commercial sex acts with a minor is a separate crime or results in an enhanced penalty for buyers.
- 2.6 No age mistake defense is permitted for a buyer of commercial sex acts with any minor under 18.
- 2.7 Base penalties for buying sex acts with a minor are sufficiently high for all minors under 18 and not reduced for older minors.
- 2.8 Financial penalties for buyers of commercial sex acts with minors are sufficiently high to make it difficult for buyers to hide the crime.
- 2.9 Buying and possessing child pornography carries penalties as high as similar federal offenses.
- 2.10 Convicted buyers of commercial sex acts with minors and child pornography are required to register as sex offenders.
Section 3: Criminal Provisions For Traffickers
- 3.1 Penalties for trafficking a child for sexual exploitation are as high as federal penalties.
- 3.2 Creating and distributing child pornography carries penalties as high as similar federal offenses.
- 3.3 Using the Internet to lure, entice, recruit, or sell commercial sex acts with a minor is a separate crime or results in an enhanced penalty for traffickers.
- 3.4 Financial penalties for traffickers, including asset forfeiture, are sufficiently high.
- 3.5 Convicted traffickers are required to register as sex offenders.
- 3.6 Laws relating to termination of parental rights for certain offenses include sex trafficking or CSEC offenses in order to remove the children of traffickers from their control and potential exploitation.
Section 4: Criminal Provisions for Facilitators
- 4.1 The acts of assisting, enabling, or financially benefitting from child sex trafficking are included as criminal offenses in the state sex trafficking statute.
- 4.2 Financial penalties, including asset forfeiture laws, are in place for those who benefit financially from, or aid and assist in committing domestic minor sex trafficking.
- 4.3 Promoting and selling child sex tourism is illegal.
- 4.4 Promoting and selling child pornography is illegal.
Section 5: Protective Provisions for Child Victims
- 5.1 Statutorily-mandated victim services define “victim” to specifically include victims of domestic minor sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) to ensure prompt identification and access to victims’ rights and services.
- 5.2 The state sex trafficking statute expressly prohibits a defendant from raising consent of the minor to the commercial sex acts as a defense.
- 5.3 Prostitution laws apply only to adults, making minors under 18 specifically immune from this offense.
- 5.4 Commercially sexually exploited children are provided with a child protection response, including specialized shelter and services, and are not detained in juvenile detention facilities.
- 5.5 Commercial sexual exploitation or sex trafficking is identified as a type of abuse and neglect within child protection statutes.
- 5.6 The definition of “caregiver” (or similar term) in the child welfare statutes is broad enough to include a trafficker who has custody or control of a child in order to bring a trafficked child into the protection of child protective services.
- 5.7 Crime victims’ compensation is specifically available to a child victim of sex trafficking or CSEC without regard to ineligibility factors.
- 5.8 Victim-friendly procedures and protections are provided in the trial process for minors under 18.
- 5.9 Expungement or sealing of juvenile arrest or criminal records resulting from arrests or adjudications for prostitution-related offenses committed as a result of, or in the course of, the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor is available within a reasonable time after turning 18.
- 5.10 Victim restitution and civil remedies are authorized by law for minor victims of sex trafficking or CSEC.
- 5.11 Statutes of limitations for civil and criminal actions for child sex trafficking or CSEC offenses are eliminated or lengthened sufficiently to allow prosecutors and victims a realistic opportunity to pursue criminal action and legal remedies.
Section 6: Criminal Justice Tools for Investigation and Prosecution
- 6.1 Training on human trafficking and domestic minor sex trafficking for law enforcement is statutorily mandated.
- 6.2 Single party consent to audiotaping is permitted in law enforcement investigations
- 6.3 Wiretapping is an available tool to investigate domestic minor sex trafficking.
- 6.4 Using a law enforcement decoy posing as a minor to investigate buying or selling of commercial sex acts is not a defense to soliciting, purchasing, or selling sex with a minor.
- 6.5 Using the Internet to investigate buyers and traffickers is a permissible investigative technique.
- 6.6 Law enforcement and child welfare agencies are mandated to promptly report missing and recovered children.