Governor’s Sex Trafficking Bill Would Help Child Victims

A bill before the Maryland General Assembly expands definition of sex abuse to allow for prosecution of people other than family members.

By Elizabeth Janney (Patch Staff) - February 10, 2017 10:23 am ET

ANNAPOLIS, MD — A bill proposed by the governor would change Maryland’s sexual abuse law to allow law enforcement to more effectively prosecute suspected sex traffickers of children, regardless of whether the trafficker is a relative of the victim. 

Hogan’s Protecting Victims of Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 would change Maryland’s definition of sexual abuse to allow for police to open investigations into allegations of sexual trafficking of children even if the suspect is not related to the victim by family or through the household. The bill has bipartisan support.

“It ensures minor victims of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation in Maryland are treated as victims of child sexual abuse,” Amelia Rubenstein, with the Child Sex Trafficking Victims Initiative, said in written testimony...