House Committee Clears Bill Protecting Human Trafficking Victims - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

House Committee Clears Bill Protecting Human Trafficking Victims In OKC

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[File Photo] [File Photo]

The House Judiciary Committee has cleared a bill that would help protect victims of human trafficking in Oklahoma City.

House Bill 2518, proposed by State Representative Sally Kern, expands the definition of human trafficking to include the recruiting, harboring, and transporting of a minor for the illegal sex trade.

"Sex trafficking is a terrible crime that threatens vulnerable adults and children. It is a lot more pervasive than people realize," Rep. Kern said.

Kern said massage parlors and strip clubs sometimes foster an environment for illegal prostitution.

The legislation also prohibits the claiming of a minor's consent as a means of defense. Kern said he is confident that it would limit the use of unconscionable defense arguments in a court of law.

"It is outrageous to argue that a person who used manipulation to induce a minor into prostitution should avoid persecution because the minor ‘consented,'" said Kern. "This legislation will make it that much easier to persecute sex traffickers."

House Bill 2518 will now proceed to the House floor for review and consideration.

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