Proposition 35 would increase penalties for human trafficking (for sex trafficking, i.e., forcing a person into prostitution, or for labor trafficking, in which people are fraudulently and or forcefully required to work or provide other services, usually for free). Penalties would increase to:
- 12 years for labor trafficking
- 20 years for forced sex trafficking of an adult
- 12 years for sex trafficking of a minor without force
- Life in prison for forced sex trafficking of a minor
- 10 years extended sentence for great bodily injury
- 5 years/conviction for prior offenses
- Up to $1.5 million in fines
Under this proposition, convicted trafficking offenders, who already have to register with local law enforcement, would also be required to register any online identification (web sites, social media, email, etc.).
In addition, 70% of funds collected from the expanded fines under Proposition 35 would be accessed by public agencies and non-profit organizations dedicated to assisting victims of human trafficking. The remaining 30% would go toward witness protection, trafficking prevention, and victim rescue operations.
Why vote Yes?
Proposition 35 would increase penalties to human traffickers, and make California law more aligned with federal law. It also would consolidate the penalties for activities related to sex trafficking of a minor without the use of force. This could become important, since federal agencies enforce these laws, either independently of or with the cooperation of state and local law enforcement. While the Office of Legislative Analyst extimates that the Proposition would cost all counties and cities up to “a few million dollars” as an initial outlay, revenue from fines would cover the initial implementation costs (though the money would go to victims assistance and not to administration). The requirement that offenders must register online identification addresses the growing use of the internet to recruit and track victims and human trafficking.
What if Proposition 35 loses?
If Proposition 35 loses, the penalties for human trafficking under current law will remain in place. The increased use of the internet and online technologies by human traffickers would not be addressed.
League of Women Voters http://cavotes.org/vote/election/2012/november/6/ballot-measure/human-trafficking-penalties