Murt Amendment on Human Trafficking Passes House
6/25/2014
HARRISBURG-- In a move to better protect children from exploitation, an amendment offered by Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery/Philadelphia) to require those convicted of trafficking in children to register as sex offenders has passed the House.

Murt’s amendment was passed as part of Senate Bill 75, which rewrites the state’s human trafficking laws.

Murt’s amendment requires anyone convicted of trafficking in children to comply with the Adam Walsh Act (formerly Meghan's law), which forces those convicted to be registered as sex offenders. The offense would carry a registration period of 25 years.

“Human trafficking is a horrendous crime, and I strongly support the Legislature’s attempts to better define the crime,” Murt said. “But it was missing the important component of making those convicted register as sex offenders. We made a very good bill even better.”

Senate Bill 75 was passed to address weaknesses in the state’s current law that often allows traffickers to be charged with lesser crimes. The outdated statutory definition of human trafficking does not include sexual servitude. Senate Bill 75 redefines trafficking to aid prosecutors and provides increased criminal penalties for those convicted of human trafficking.

Because the victims of trafficking are often misidentified and charged with crimes, Senate Bill 75 offers a provision that would allow someone charged with a sex crime to defend themselves in court with the argument that their crime was committed under the threat of force.

Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world, generating over $32 billion annually. It is estimated that more than 20 million people are currently being trafficked world-wide. In the U.S., it is estimated that over 100,000 children are in the sex trade. The total number of men, women and children being trafficked in the U.S. could reach into the hundreds of thousands.

Representative Thomas P. Murt
152nd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: David Foster
267.207.0207
dfoster@pahousegop.com  
RepMurt.com / Facebook.com/RepMurt
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