OAN’s Abril Elfi
5:10 PM – Tuesday, September 12, 2023
The Assembly Public Safety Committee finally passed a California bill that would make child sex trafficking a major felony.
On Monday, Senate Bill 14, written by Senator Shannon Grove (R-Calif.), passed the state Assembly in a 79-0 vote and now returns to the State Senate for approval of a revision made two weeks ago.
The bill approved by the Assembly includes an addendum that legislators believe ensures human trafficking victims, who are occasionally forced to assist traffickers, are not prosecuted under the new law.
The senator spoke to reporters in a statement after the vote.
“We are one step closer to making the horrific crime of child sex trafficking a serious felony,” Grove said. “SB 14 will increase jail time for repeat offenders who sell children for sex and commit the most heinous acts on our children.”
If the bill is passed, child sex trafficking would be classified as a major felony under California law, making it a strikable violation, which means repeat offenders or those who have committed additional strikable acts might face longer time in prison, up to and including life.
Grove stated that the measure’s goal is to keep serial child sex traffickers from being freed from prison too quickly.
Assembly members from both parties reportedly emphasized that this is the sixth time lawmakers have suggested the concept, which has been continuously defeated by a key committee that is known for opposing initiatives that raise prison sentences “in order to reduce overcrowding,” or so they claim.
SB-14 was approved after a revision was inserted to address concerns that victims who were forced to collaborate with their traffickers may also be prosecuted and imprisoned.
The bill will now be sent to the Senate.
If it passes there, the bill will be sent to Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D-Calif.) desk.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts