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A bill could change human trafficking penalties for repeat offenses

(KGWN)
Published: Jan. 13, 2020 at 5:23 PM CST
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House Bill No. 00010 would change the penalties for repeat human trafficking offenses. Representative Sara Burlingame (D - HD 44) said that repeat-trafficking offenders tend to be smart. "They are really brilliant at knowing how to find and cajole and seduce these mostly young women and sometimes men," Rep. Burlingame said. "Increasing the fines for your second offense, it just makes sense. It's what people want to see happen."

Representative Tim Salazar (R - HD 34) said that most legislators don't want to see an increase in penalties, but he feels its appropriate in this case. Rep. Salazar said that even though the 2020 session is a budget session, he think that it is worth bringing forward even if it's just one victim that they could save because of the penalty changes.

If the bill goes through, a person could face 25 years to life in prison without parole. Current state statute already says that victims of trafficking can not be charged with acts connected to being a human trafficking victim (WY Stat § 6-2-708 (2014)). In order to be assigned to a committee, the bill would need to get a two-thirds vote in the House of Representatives.

For more information on the existing state statutes or to track the bill, go to wyoleg.gov.

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