Posted: Mar 11, 2014 3:54 PM by Russell Jones
Updated: Mar 11, 2014 3:54 PM
BATON ROUGE - Lawmakers introduced legislation Tuesday that would require sex traffickers and those who engage in it to register as sex offenders, and create new human trafficking courts.
One bill introduced by Rep. Neil Abramson would make "unlawful purchase of commercial sexual activity" a crime in Louisiana. Anyone commits the crime with a minor would also have to register as a sex offender.
The bill also expands human trafficking laws already on the books to include receiving, isolating, and enticing another person in order to be a sex worker. It would also allow the state to seize any property used in human trafficking and prostitution; any money raised by selling that property would go to the Exploited Children's Special Fund to help victims.
Governor Bobby Jindal noted that Baton Rouge is one of the top 10 cities in the U. S. for human trafficking.
"Human trafficking in all its forms is a horrific crime," Jindal said. "It is an actual underground business happening right here in our state and throughout our nation."
Other legislation filed to address human trafficking includes HB 569 from Rep. Julie Stokes, which authorizes district courts to create a division specifically for human trafficking cases. Judges assigned to human trafficking court would be trained to deal with those cases, including prostitution.