July 3, 2011

Bill To End Child Exploitation Nears Finish Line

7-3-2011 Massachusetts:

Child-sex laws increase penalties to pimps and clients; Spilka adds labor-protection to all children.

The state Senate this week unanimously passed legislation, including an amendment proposed by state Sen. Karen Spilka, whose district includes Framingham, that cracks down on human trafficking and forced child labor in Massachusetts.

The bill establishes protection for victims and criminal penalties for forced labor and sexual servitude, Spilka’s office said in a press release. The amendment proposed by Spilka gives victims of forced labor access to the same help and services as the sexually exploited.

“We will work to ensure that all children are protected,” Spilka said.

The Senate bill was sponsored by Sen. Mark Montigny of New Bedford six years ago. “I truly believe this bill is going to save lives,” Montigny said.

Attorney General Martha Coakley said Massachusetts is one of only three states with no law against human trafficking.

The bill now returns to the House for reconsideration.

Several provisions in the bill target “Johns,” with prison and fines, especially those who seek sex with children under 18.

It also provides heavy monetary and criminal fines to those found guilty of forcing children to work, removes any statute of limitations for trafficking crimes, and creates criminal penalties for trafficking human organs.

The Senate bill updates sex-offender registration laws to include human trafficking. It creates a “Victims of Human Trafficking Trust Fund” from fines and convicted human traffickers’ forfeited assets. The Victims Fund would pay for counseling and protective services and related work by police and district attorneys.

Items used in the commission of crimes such as buildings, cars or boats would be subject to forfeit with proceeds split between the Victims Fund and law enforcement.

The bill would:

Establish an Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force;

Increase the penalty for soliciting a prostitute, and increase the penalty for soliciting sex from a person under 18;

Allow children charged with prostitution could use servitude as a defense.

Provide a “safe harbor" allowing a child arrested for prostitution to instead receive protection services.

Require the Department of Children and Families to provide services and report suspicion of sexually exploited children to police.

Require doctors, social workers, teachers and probation officers to report to DCF when they think a child is sexually exploited.

Establish a process for victims of trafficking to bring civil actions. ..Source.. by Susan Petroni

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Martha coakley said what?? Familiar with Martha? If not here is a snippet from Wikipedia about lil ole Martha..
In 2001, Coakley successfully lobbied Acting Gov. Jane Swift to deny clemency to Gerald Amirault, a defendant in the Fells Acres Day Care Center preschool trial, whom many regarded as a victim of day care sex abuse hysteria. Prior to this, clemency for him had been recommended unanimously by the Massachusetts Parole Board,[6][7] and his co-accused mother and sister had already been released from custody.[8] Wall Street Journal reporter Dorothy Rabinowitz cites her pursuit of the case despite lack of corroborating evidence as an example of questionable judgment on Coakley's part.[8]

Coakley resisted freeing Kenneth Waters even after DNA proved his innocence of murder, as dramatized in the film Conviction.

Coakley's actions as District Attorney in the sexual abuse case of a 23-month old girl in 2005 have drawn sharp criticism. Coakley, who oversaw the grand jury for the case, did not indict Keith Winfield, a Somerville police officer. Later, after a criminal complaint was filed by the parents of the victim, she requested that he be released without cash bail. The DA succeeding Coakley subsequently secured a conviction awarding two life sentences for the crime. Coakley later defended her actions in this case, saying she acted appropriately given the evidence that was available at the time.

Martha is a big pile of manure.