STRENGTHEN HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS.

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 342 (Public) Filed Tuesday, March 12, 2019
AN ACT TO STRENGTHEN THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING LAWS.
Intro. by Presnell, Hardister, D. Hall, Riddell.

Status: Ref to the Com on Judiciary, if favorable, Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House (House action) (Mar 13 2019)
H 342

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Mar 12 2019 - More information

    Amends GS 14-43.13, modifying the offense of sexual servitude to include when a person knowingly or in reckless disregard subjects, maintains, or obtains another for purposes of sexual servitude. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 14-205.1, establishing that mistake of age or consent of a minor are not defenses to prosecution for solicitation of prostitution. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 14-190.16, increasing the offenses of first degree sexual exploitation of a minor from a Class C felony to a Class B2 felony. Amends GS 14-190.17, increasing the offense of second degree sexual exploitation of a minor from a Class E felony to a Class C felony. Amends GS 14-190.17A, increasing the offense of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor from a Class H felony to a Class D felony. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Enacts GS 14-208.1, establishing mandatory restitution for victims solicited, patronized, or promoted for prostitution in violation of GS 14-205.1, GS 14-205.2, and GS 14-205.3. Provides for determination of restitution amount in the court order. Further subjects the defendant to property forfeiture for violation of the specified statutes pursuant to GS 14-2.3 (Forfeiture of gain acquired through criminal activity). Enacts GS 14-190.17B, establishing identical mandatory restitution provisions for victims who are minors hired, employed, used, or permitted to do or assist in committing an offense covered in GS 14-190.6 (Employing or permitting minor to assist in offense under Article 26, Offenses against Public Morality and Decency) or minors sexually exploited in violation of GS 14-190.16, GS 14-190.17, and GS 14-190.17A. Further subjects the defendant to property forfeiture for violation of the specified statutes pursuant to GS 14-2.3 (Forfeiture of gain acquired through criminal activity). Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 14-43.11, expanding the offense of human trafficking (punishable as a Class C felony, or a Class B2 felony if the victim is a minor) to include when a person knowingly or in reckless disregard of the consequences of the action benefits financially or receives anything of value from the services of another person the person knows is being held in involuntary servitude or sexual servitude. Further amends GS 14-43.13, expanding the offense of sexual servitude (punishable as a Class D felony, or a Class C felony if the victim is a minor) to include when a person knowingly or in reckless disregard of the consequences of the action benefits financially or by receiving anything of value from the services of another person the person knows is being subjected to or maintained in sexual servitude. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Enacts GS 14-208.1, establishing the offense of promoting travel for unlawful sexual conduct, punishable as a Class G felony. Includes when a person sells or offers to sell travel services that the person knows to include travel for the purposes of engaging in conduct that would constitute any of the specified offenses if occurring in the State, including rape and other sex offenses under Article 7B, certain offenses involving the sexual exploitation of a minor or indecent liberties with a minor, or any of the specified prostitution offenses. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Further amends GS 14-43.11, making human trafficking a Class B2 felony if the person believed the victim of the offense was a minor. Similarly, amends GS 14-43.13 further, making sexual servitude a Class C felony if the person believed the victim of the offense was a minor. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 7B-3200 regarding expunction of records of juveniles alleged or adjudicated delinquent and undisciplined. Eliminates the 18-month waiting period for a person who is at least 18 years old to petition the court for expunction of all records of adjudication (for an offense which would be a crime other than a Class A, B1, B2, C, D, or E felony) if the person whose participation in the offense was a result of having been a victim of human trafficking under GS 14-43.11, sexual servitude under GS 14-43.13, or the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Requires the petition's affidavit to state that the petitioner was adjudicated delinquent based on an offense the petitioner participated in as a result of having been a victim of human trafficking under GS 14-43.11, sexual servitude under GS 14-43.13, or the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act. Makes clarifying changes. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Enacts GS 15A-145.9, allowing a person who has been convicted of a nonviolent offense to file a petition in the court of conviction for expunction of the offense from the person's criminal record if the court finds that the person was coerced or deceived into committing the offense as a direct result of having been a trafficking victim. Defines nonviolent offense and trafficking victim. Sets out petition requirements including service. Provides for other considerations the court may look to in rendering a decision, including calling upon a probation officer for verification of the petitioner's conduct during the period since conviction. Provides for the restoration of the petitioner's status after the court makes four findings following a hearing. Sets out the effect of an expunction order entered pursuant to the statute. Requires a person pursuing law enforcement certification under Article 1 of GS Chapter 17C or GS Chapter 17E to disclose all convictions to the certifying Commission regardless of expunction. Requires the court order to include expunction of the conviction from court and law enforcement records, as well as any other applicable State or local government agency records. Further requires an agency to reverse any administrative actions taken against a person whose record is expunged as a result of the charges or conviction expunged. Exempts the Department of Justice for DNA records and samples stored in the State DNA Database and the State DNA Databank. Waives the cost of expunging the records. Applies to offenses committed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 15A-1415, allowing defendants convicted of a nonviolent offense as defined in GS 15A-145.9, as enacted, whose participation was a result of having been a victim of human trafficking or sexual servitude, whereby the defendant seeks to have the conviction vacated, to assert a motion for appropriate relief made more than 10 days after entry of judgment. Applies to motions filed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Amends GS 15A-1416.1, concerning a motion to vacate a prostitution conviction for a sex trafficking victim, to now have the statute apply to motions to vacate a nonviolent offense conviction for human trafficking victims. Allows the motion to be filed at any time following entry of a verdict or finding of guilty. Applies to motions filed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Enacts GS 15B-11(d1), excepting claims or awards of compensation for criminally injurious conduct against a minor in violation of GS 14-43.11, GS 14-43.12, and GS 14-43.13 from subsections (a) through (d) of the statute that mandate or authorize denial of a claim or reduction of an award of compensation if certain grounds apply to the claim or award. Applies to motions filed on or after December 1, 2019.

    Directs the Human Trafficking Commission (Commission) to study the services provided by the State to minors who are victims of an offense committed under GS 14-43.11, GS 14-43.12, and GS 14-43.13. Details required components of the study. Directs the Commission to report to the specified NCGA Committee by March 15, 2020.

    Clarifies that prosecutions for offenses committed before the act's effective date are not abated or affected by the act, and statutes that would be applicable but for the act remain applicable to those prosecutions.


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