Human trafficking; prevention and awareness. (SB1603)

Introduced By

Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) with support from co-patron Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Human trafficking; prevention and awareness; offenses related to prostitution and human trafficking; penalties. Provides that any person who commits an act of aiding prostitution or illicit sexual intercourse or using a vehicle to promote prostitution or unlawful sexual intercourse, when such act involves a minor, is guilty of a Class 6 felony. Under current law, such acts are punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The bill adds these two new felony offenses to (i) the definition of "violent felony" for the purposes of sentencing guidelines, (ii) the definition of barrier crimes for the purposes of background checks for employees or volunteers providing care to children or the elderly or disabled, (iii) the definition of predicate criminal acts for street gangs, (iv) the definition of racketeering activity under the Virginia Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act, (v) the list of violations that a multi-jurisdiction grand jury is responsible for investigating, and (vi) the list of offenses requiring registration in the Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. The bill includes touching the intimate parts of another person with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify or allowing another person to touch one's own intimate parts with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify to the list of conduct that, when done for money or its equivalent, constitutes prostitution, which is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor or, when such act involves a minor, a Class 6 felony. The bill also provides that any person who receives money for procuring another person for the purpose of causing such person to touch the intimate parts of another person with the intent to sexually arouse or gratify is guilty of a Class 4 felony or, if such offense involves procuring a minor, a Class 3 felony. The bill also adds felony prostitution and felony human trafficking offenses involving a minor to the definition of "violent felony" for the purposes of sentencing guidelines and provides that each violation of commercial sex trafficking is a separate and distinct felony. The bill allows a court to order, upon application by the attorney for the Commonwealth or the defendant, that the testimony of (a) a child victim of an offense of commercial sex trafficking or prostitution, if such child is 14 years of age or younger at the time of the offense and 16 years of age or younger at the time of the trial, or (b) a child witness of such offense, if such child is 14 years of age or younger at the time of trial, be taken by two-way closed-circuit television. The bill establishes the Virginia Prevention of Sex Trafficking Fund (the Fund) to be administered by the Department of Criminal Justice Services for the purpose of promoting awareness of and preventive training and education relating to sex trafficking. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor violation of prostitution, aiding prostitution, or using a vehicle to promote prostitution is required to pay a $100 fee and any person convicted of certain felony violations related to prostitution and human trafficking is required to pay a $500 fee, both of which are paid into the Fund. This bill is a recommendation of the Virginia State Crime Commission. Amends § 17.1-805, § 18.2-346, § 18.2-347, § 18.2-350, § 18.2-356, § 18.2-46.1, § 18.2-513, § 18.2-67.9, § 19.2-215.1, § 19.2-392.02, § 9.1-902, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/09/2019Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/19 19104156D
01/09/2019Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/10/2019Impact statement from VCSC (SB1603)
01/16/2019Reported from Courts of Justice with substitute (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/16/2019Committee substitute printed 19105086D-S1
01/16/2019Rereferred to Finance
01/22/2019Impact statement from VCSC (SB1603S1)
01/23/2019Impact statement from DPB (SB1603S1)
02/06/2019Left in Finance

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