The following 2019 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 Prostitution statutes refer to the sex trafficking statute to acknowledge the intersection of prostitution with trafficking victimization.
- 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 child sex 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 minor.
- 2.2 Buyers of commercial sex acts with a minor can be prosecuted under commercial sexual exploitation of children (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 or electronic communications 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 under 18 are sufficiently high 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 sexual abuse material (CSAM) carries penalties as high as similar federal offenses.
- 2.10 Convicted buyers of commercial sex acts with minors 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 sexual abuse material (CSAM) carries penalties as high as similar federal offenses.
- 3.3 Using the Internet or electronic communications 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 include sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) offenses as grounds for termination in order to prevent traffickers from exploiting their parental rights as a form of control.
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 sexual abuse material (CSAM) carries penalties as high as similar federal offenses.
Section 5: Protective Provisions for Child Victims
- 5.1 Victims under the core child sex trafficking offense include all commercially sexually exploited children.
- 5.2 The state sex trafficking statute expressly prohibits a defendant from asserting a defense based on the willingness of a minor under 18 to engage in the commercial sex act.
- 5.3 State law prohibits the criminalization of minors under 18 for prostitution offenses.
- 5.4 State law provides a non-punitive avenue to specialized services through one or more points of entry.
- 5.5 Child sex trafficking is identified as a type of abuse and neglect within child protection statutes.
- 5.6 The definition of “caregiver” or another related term in the child welfare statutes is not a barrier to a sex trafficked child accessing the protection of child welfare.
- 5.7 Crime victims’ compensation is specifically available to a child victim of sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
- 5.8 Victim-friendly procedures and protections are provided in the trial process for minors under 18.
- 5.9 Child sex trafficking victims may vacate delinquency adjudications and expunge related records for prostitution and other offenses arising from trafficking victimization, without a waiting period.
- 5.10 Victim restitution and civil remedies for victims of domestic minor sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) are authorized by law.
- 5.11 Statutes of limitations for civil and criminal actions for child sex trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) offenses are eliminated or lengthened 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 or authorized.
- 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 and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
- 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 or electronic communications to investigate buyers and traffickers is a permissible investigative technique.
- 6.6 State law requires reporting of missing children and recovered missing children.