SCS/HCS/HB 2032 & HB 2307 - This act modifies provisions relating to human trafficking.
CHILD TRAFFICKING (Sections 210.1500, 210.1505, & 211.031)
This act provides that when a child is located by a law enforcement official and there is reasonable cause to suspect the child may be a victim of sex trafficking, the law enforcement official shall immediately cause a report to be made to the Children's Division. If the Children's Division determines that the report merits an investigation, the reporting official and the Children's Division shall ensure the immediate safety of the child. If the law enforcement official has reasonable cause to believe the child is in imminent danger, he or she may take temporary custody of the child without the consent of the child's parents.
Additionally, this act establishes the "Statewide Council on Sex Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children". The council shall collect data relating to sex trafficking of children and develop best practices regarding the response to sex trafficking of children. The council shall submit a report to the governor and General Assembly on or before December 31, 2023; at which time the council shall expire.
Finally, this act adds that the family courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction in proceedings involving a child who has been a victim of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING (Sections 566.203, 566.206, 566.209, 566.210, 566.211, 566.215, & 589.700)
This act provides that an additional fine of $5,000 shall be assessed in all cases in which a defendant is found guilty of a trafficking offense.
Additionally, this act creates the "Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Fund" which shall consists of fines collected in trafficking cases. Funds shall be used for local rehabilitation services for victims of human trafficking and for local efforts to prevent human trafficking.
These provisions are identical to provisions in HB 2307 (2022).
OFFENSE OF PROSTITUTION (Section 567.020)
This act provides that a person shall not be certified as an adult or adjudicated for the offense of prostitution if the person was under the age of 18 at the time when the offense occurred. Such person shall be classified as a victim of abuse and reported immediately to the Children's Division and to the juvenile officer for appropriate services.
SEXUAL PERFORMANCE BY A CHILD (Sections 573.010 & 573.206)
Under current law, sexual performance includes sexual conduct by a child who is less than 17 years old. This act changes the age to 18 years old.
Additionally, this act creates the offense of patronizing a sexual performance by a child if such person obtains, solicits, or participates in a sexual performance by a child under the age of 18. This offense is a Class C felony.
OFFENSE OF ENABLING SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF A MINOR (Section 573.024)
This act creates the offense of enabling sexual exploitation of a minor which shall be if a person acting with criminal negligence permits or allows certain sexual or pornography offenses. Such offense is a Class E felony for the first offense and a Class C felony for any subsequent offenses. Additionally, if the person found guilty of the offense is an owner of a business that provided the location for such exploitation, the business shall be required to close for up to one year for the first offense and shall permanently close after a subsequent offense.
SEXUAL OFFENDER REGISTRY (Section 589.414)
This act adds that tier II sexual offenders shall include any offender adjudicated for the offense of patronizing a sexual performance by a child and the offense of sexual conduct in the course of public duty if the victim is between 13 and 17 years old age.
This act adds that tier III sexual offenders shall include any offender adjudicated for the offense of patronizing prostitution if the victim is under 18 years old and the offense of sexual conduct in the course of public duty.
MARY GRACE PRINGLE