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Politics & Government

Senators Propose Criminal Immunity For Child Prostitutes

A state Senate proposal would prevent child victims from being prosecuted for participation in sex trades and related charges as part of last year’s crusade against human trafficking.

“We have to concentrate on the victim and make sure that the victim is treated as a victim,” said Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), a sponsor of the measure.

Under the plan, which only applies to persons under the age of 18, minors would receive services like medical care, long-term housing and therapy. They could also be reimbursed for the costs of covering up any tattoos or physical marks used to identify them as part of a human trafficking operation. Funding would be provided by the state as well as money from fines levied against convicted human traffickers.

Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) is the other prime sponsor on the bill, which he framed as a moral obligation, even if implementation means child prostitutes who willingly engage in human trafficking get away with their crimes.

“Even if there are a few cases where someone’s doing it voluntarily, is it worth nailing those kids?” said Leach. “Is that so important that it’s more important than giving the overwhelming majority of children who are victims of crime the break that they need?”