Three Los Angeles County sponsored bills that aim to crack down on the demand-side of the illicit child sex trafficking industry were signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown over the weekend, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Knabe announced today. The bills, part of Los Angeles County’s bipartisan “War on Child Sex Trafficking” legislative package, will dramatically change the way pimps, traffickers, and sex buyers are prosecuted.
SB 1388, proposed by Senators Lieu, Hill, and Mitchell, will increase fines and penalties for anyone convicted of pimping or purchasing a minor. Senator Mitchell’s SB 955 will add human trafficking to a list of offenses that will allow the use of wiretapping. Senator Block’s SB 939 allows victims to testify against their traffickers in just one courtroom, rather than facing their exploiter in multiple jurisdictions.
“I am absolutely thrilled that Governor Brown has heard the voices of sex trafficking victims and signed these major bills into law, creating a heavy price for anyone engaging in the deplorable practice of sexually exploiting children for money,” said Knabe. “These new laws attack the economy of the child sex trade, on both the supply side, as well as the demand side, and create significant deterrents to those who intend to sexually exploit young children for sex. Thanks to the efforts of Senators Ted Lieu, Holly Mitchell, Bob Huff, Jerry Hill, and Marty Block, Los Angeles County now has the teeth to crack down on those who buy and sell children, and give a voice to the true victims.”