The bill would expand the membership of the state’s Trafficking in Persons Council, including adding an individual who has been a victim of sex trafficking. The bill would increase the penalty for trafficking in persons from a class B to a class A felony, punishable by up to 25 years in prison in line with federal statute, and broaden the definition of “sex trafficking”.
It would also create a new crime, “commercial sex abuse of a minor,” which would be a class B felony, and a Class A felony if the minor is under 15 years of age. Patronizing a minor is currently a class C felony. Additionally, it would require an increased number of businesses to post signage with the Trafficking in Persons Council hotline number.
The bill would also provide and require training for state public safety, legal, and health care employees, and public school employees for identifying and reporting human trafficking. The bill passed on a unanimous and bipartisan basis in the House of Representatives on May 17 and in the Senate Friday morning. It goes next to the desk of Governor Dannel P. Malloy for his signature.