Lawmakers have approved changes to Minnesota’s sex trafficking laws that were requested by the Central Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force, including Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall.
The task force had discovered the limits of existing laws after three years of cracking down on trafficking.
One new change will classify sex trafficking as a violent crime.
The changes were added to the state budget and approved in June.
They fall into five categories. Here’s a brief summary of those categories from Kendall:
- “Increased recognition of trafficking as a violent crime and danger to public safety — these crimes regularly involve violence, and the danger to victims and others is high;
- Statutory maximum sentences needed to be increased to recognize that many traffickers already have significant criminal histories;
- Increased consequences for sex buyers, recognizing that demand drives trafficking, where trafficking occurs (public or private place) should not be a factor, and there should be increased consequences for repeat offenders;
- Increased protection of victims and children through higher supervision and crime levels for solicitation of children 15 years old and younger;
- Increased penalties to deter trespassing at emergency shelter or transitional housing.”
Category: State Government