The Delaware State Senate has unanimously passed Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore’s Senate Bill 60, approved legislation that would protect child victims of human trafficking from being prosecuted as criminals. It does this by stating that no one younger than 18 can be convicted of prostitution under Delaware law. The truth of human trafficking of under aged girls is that they are exploited as prostitutes. Thus, why should these under aged victims of human trafficking be charged with the crime of prostitution. The criminals in these situations are the kidnappers and the Johns.
“The adults who broker and pay for these unspeakable acts are the criminals here, not the children they are exploiting,” Poore said. “Those children are victims and we should be focusing our resources on providing them with counseling and intervention rather than prison sentences and criminal records.”
This bill is similar to a State Representative Kim Williams’ HB102, which has already unanimously passed the House and will be considered in the Senate Judicial Committee today. That bill allows anyone arrested or convicted of a crime directly connected to them being a victim of human trafficking to seek a pardon, an expungement or a motion to vacate a judgement, though violent felonies would not qualify.
SB60 now heads to the House Judiciary Committee.
WHERE IS THE BILL? Passed Senate 21-0. Now in House Judiciary Committee
DEMOCRATIC SPONSORS – Poore, McBride, K.Williams, Brown, Ennis, Hansen, Lockman, McDowell, Paradee, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Walsh, Baumbach, Brady, Dorsey Walker, Heffernan, Lynn
REPUBLICAN SPONSORS – Bonini, Cloutier, Delcollo, Hocker, Lawson, Lopez, Pettyjohn Richardson, Wilson
YES VOTES – Bonini, Brown, Cloutier, Delcollo, Ennis, Hansen, Hocker, Lawson, Lockman, Lopez, McBride, McDowell, Paradee, Pettyjohn, Poore, Richardson, Sokola, Sturgeon, Townsend, Walsh, Wilson
NO VOTES –