HARRISBURG – The state Senate passed legislation on Wednesday that will combat human trafficking by enacting stronger penalties against all individuals who support the exploitation of victims, according to Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23), who cosponsored and supported the bill.
Senate Bill 60 would increase penalties against any individual who patronizes a victim of human trafficking, including any individual who recruits, solicits, advertises, transports, or profits off a human trafficking victim. Tougher penalties are also levied for offenses committed against minors.
“In 2018, 275 cases of human trafficking were reported in Pennsylvania, up from 91 in 2012,” Sen. Yaw said. “Although it sounds impossible to believe, human trafficking is happening in our neighborhoods.”
Under the bill, the most serious offenders who directly participate in the trafficking of minors for prostitution and related crimes could face imprisonment of 40 years or more. Fines and penalties against offenders who solicit the services of human trafficking victims would also see significant increases, including fines of up to $50,000 for repeat offenders.
All fines collected under the bill would be deposited into special funds to prevent human trafficking and support sexually exploited children.
The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.
For more state-related news and information, visit Senator Yaw’s website at www.SenatorGeneYaw.com or on Facebook and Twitter @SenatorGeneYaw.
Rita Zielonis, Chief of Staff