Local Officials Take Part in Human Trafficking Bill

By: Lauren Forsythe Email
By: Lauren Forsythe Email

House Bill 3 was written to protect juvenile victims who are being prostituted, and to strengthen human trafficking laws in Kentucky.

Lawmakers say their support for House Bill 3 was a no-brainer.

21st District State Representative from Warren County Jim Decesare (R) is a co-sponsor.

"The worst thing that could ever been done to a person is to steal someone's soul, and to steal their being and sell it off for the highest bidder. That's just wrong," Decesare says.

"I was really glad that passed, and I was glad it passed with such an overwhelming majority," says Rep. Jody Richards, (D) 20th District.

Since human trafficking became a law in Kentucky in 2008, there has been nearly 150 cases, and 20 were prosecuted.

Warren County Commonwealth Attorney Chris Cohron says child prostitution is a main form of human trafficking in Kentucky.

The bill adds a "Safe Harbor Provision" to protect children, where a they cannot be subject to any criminal penalties.

"The essence of that is to make sure the child is treated as a victim in these human trafficking cases and to get the resources to that child more directly and as quick as possible," Cohron says.

Cohron assisted State Representatives Sannie Overly (D) and Addia Wuchner (R) in writing House Bill 3.

"We tried to help craft the language that would protect the victim, but all the while allow us to more effectively prosecute perpetrators of human trafficking," Cohron says.

Warren County has one of the few human trafficking cases in Kentucky right now.

If this is passed into law, this case won't be affected, but Cohron hopes this will help protect underage victims in the future.

"As we go forward, it will allow kids that have been abused and used in human trafficking to have a more direct pipeline to getting resources," he says.

The bill was moved to the Senate Tuesday.

House Bill 3 was passed in the House 95 to 0.

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