Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 60 into law today, elevating a human trafficking offense to a first-degree felony, increasing fines and prison times, and changing the definition of child in the current statute to include anyone under age 18 instead of age 16.
“The trafficking of humans is unthinkable and that of children is especially reprehensible,” Gov. Wolf said. “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.”
The law will:
Raise the additional fine amount 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.
Distribute 50% of the fines collected under Section 3013 of the statute to the Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Children Fund and the Prevention of Human Trafficking Restricted Account.
Add the action of advertising to the offense, and
Increase the grading of the offense to a 1st degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000, if it involves sexual servitude.
Increase the maximum possible penalty 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.
Increase the grading of the patronizing a victim of sexual servitude offense to a 1st degree felony if the person engaged in the act knowing it was the result of the individual being a victim of human trafficking.
Make it a 3rd 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 1st degree felony.
The governor also signed into law Senate Bills 690, 691 and 692, which increase the minimum value of real estate that requires a municipality to advertise to sell from $1,500 to $6,000.