SB 1145 - Under this act, a person under the age of eighteen who is a victim of trafficking may be treated as a child in need of care and treatment by the Department of Social Services.
This act requires any person who has reasonable cause to suspect a person under the age of eighteen is a victim of trafficking to immediately make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect to the Children's Division within the Department of Social Services. The Division must immediately notify the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the suspected child abuse or neglect occurred, and the Department must commence an initial investigation into the suspected abuse or neglect.
This act also requires the Department of Social Services to develop a statewide protocol to coordinate the delivery of services to child victims of sexual trafficking. The Department must work with the circuit courts to ensure that all state, federal, and community-based resources for sexually exploited children are known and available to child victims of sexual trafficking who are involved in court proceedings.
This act imposes a $2,000 surcharge on defendants found guilty of sexual trafficking of a child in the first or second degree, sexual trafficking of a child, sexual trafficking of a child under the age of twelve, a Class A misdemeanor or felony offense of patronizing prostitution, or promoting prostitution in the first degree. The surcharge is to be deposited in the "Exploited Children's Special Fund", which is created by this act. The fund is to be used by the Department of Social Services for the provision of services and treatment to sexually exploited children. Subject to appropriations, up to 50 percent of the money may be used for the development of training programs and for the provision of law enforcement training programs to be administered by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission.
Under this act, child sex trafficking victims cannot be found guilty of prostitution-related offenses for any conduct committed as a victim of sexual trafficking. In prosecutions for prostitution-related crimes, such victims may raise as an affirmative defense that the offense was committed as a result of force, fraud, or coercion by a sex trafficker.
In addition, no person under the age of 18 can be prosecuted for a prostitution-related offense in an adult criminal court under this act, but the person may be treated as a child in need of care and treatment by the Department of Social Services and such violation may be disposed of under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court.