January 24, 2015

Plan to add human traffickers to sex offender list advances

1-24-2015 South Dakota:

PIERRE — A proposal that would require convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders would help fight a dangerous threat to the state, Attorney General Marty Jackley told a Senate committee on Thursday shortly before the panel passed the measure.

The state Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the proposal to the chamber’s floor. Jackley said that human trafficking of minors that involves kidnapping, prostitution or the death of a victim and coercive trafficking that involves the prostitution of a minor should be designated sex crimes that require registration.

“When I look at the sex offender registry ... human trafficking is precisely what that registry is designed to protect against,” Jackley said.

There are about 3,300 sex offenders registered in South Dakota.

An offender who has committed a comparable offense in a different state and moved to South Dakota would have to join the registry.

Jackley said the registration requirement also would keep offenders away from libraries and schools.

Kimberly Kaveny-LaPlante, executive director of Call to Freedom, a Sioux Falls-based advocacy group, said she’s pleased the state is moving forward with the plan.

But, it’s something that should be on the books right now, she said.

“Why hasn’t this been in place before?” she said. “It’s just the beginning of some of the things that need to happen as far as legislation in our state.”

South Dakota residents’ friendly mindsets have led to denial about the prevalence of human trafficking in the state, Kaveny-LaPlante said.

She said the state needs to provide more financial assistance to the victims of human trafficking and the organizations that support them. ..Source.. by aberdeen news.com

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