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senate bill 60

harsher penalties for human trafficking

Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 60 into law on Wednesday (February 5, 2019) which establishes harsher penalties throughout the state for human trafficking, including those patronizing victims of sexual servitude. It also changed the definition of a child, in relation to human trafficking, from individuals under 16 to include anyone under the age of 18.

After signing the legislation, the Governor said, "The trafficking of humans is unthinkable and that of children is especially reprehensible. No crime involving exploiting humans should be handled lightly and so I am pleased to sign these stricter punishments and increased offenses for those who commit this heinous crime."

A summary of provisions, excerpted from the Doylestown Patch include :

  • Increasing fines to at least $1,000 for a first offense; $5,000 to $25,000 for a second offense; $10,000 to $50,000 for a third or subsequent offense; or $10,000 to $50,000 where the victim of sexual servitude was a minor at the time of the offense.

  • 50 percent of the fines collected will be distributed to Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund and the Prevention of Human Trafficking Restricted Account.

  • Offense increases to a first-degree felony if it involves sexual servitude and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000,

  • The maximum possible penalty increases to up to 40 years in prison if the victim is a minor and if this is part of a course of conduct of subjecting minors to sexual servitude.

  • Patronizing a victim of sexual servitude is increased to a first-degree felony if the person engaged in the act knowing it was the result of the individual being a victim of human trafficking.

  • Makes it a third-degree felony if the person engaged in the act with reckless disregard that it was the result of the individual being a victim of human trafficking.

  • Any second or subsequent offense will be a first-degree felony.