Senate approves legislation to aid human trafficking victims

By Michael Dresser

March 18, 2015, 11:29 AM

The Senate unanimously passed legislation Wednesday that would allow a person charged with prostitution to offer a defense that they committed the act under duress by a human trafficker.

The bill now goes to the House, where a companion measure is being considered by the Judiciary Committee.

The bill, sponsored by Montgomery County Democratic Sen. Susan Lee, is one of the top priorities of anti-human trafficking activists. The advocates contend that many who commit acts of prostitution should be viewed more as victims than offenders.