A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO AMEND THE DEFINITION OF ABUSED JUVENILE TO INCLUDE A MINOR WHO IS A VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING, TO PROVIDE THAT MISTAKE OF AGE AND CONSENT OF A MINOR ARE NOT DEFENSES TO PROSECUTION OF AN OFFENSE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING, TO REQUIRE MANDATORY RESTITUTION FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING, TO PROVIDE THAT A MINOR SHALL NOT BE PROSECUTED FOR THE OFFENSE OF PROSTITUTION, TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXPUNCTION OF CERTAIN PERSONS CONVICTED OF PROSTITUTION, TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WITH ONE CONVICTION FOR PROSTITUTION THAT IS THE RESULT OF BEING A HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM IS ELIGIBLE FOR VICTIM'S COMPENSATION, TO MAKE EDUCATORS AWARE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING ISSUES AND TO PROVIDE RESOURCES AND MATERIALS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING TO EDUCATORS AND FOR DISTRIBUTION TO SCHOOL PERSONNEL, STUDENTS, AND PARENTS, AND TO DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO ESTABLISH A CENTRAL HOTLINE FOR REPORTING SUSPECTED CASES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
Amends the definition of abused juveniles in GS 7B-101 to include a juvenile less than 18 years old whose parent, guardian, custodian, or caretaker commits or allows to be committed an offense of human trafficking, involuntary servitude, or sexual servitude against the child.
Amends GS 14-43.11 (Human trafficking), GS 14-43.12 (Involuntary servitude), and GS 14-43.13 (Sexual servitude), establishing that a mistake of age or consent of a minor is not a defense to prosecution for offenses committed under these sections.
Enacts new GS 14-43.20 (Mandatory restitution; victim services; forfeiture), providing that restitution is mandatory under this article for a victim. For the purposes of this section a "victim" is an individual subjected to the practices set out in GS 14-43.11, GS 14-43.12, or GS 14-43.13. Provides that in addition to any other amount of loss identified, the court will order restitution including the greater of: (1) the gross income or value to the defendant of the victim's labor or services or (2) the value of the victim's labor as guaranteed under the Minimum Wage Law and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or the Minimum Wage Law.
Provides that the Department of Health and Human Services can provide or fund emergency services and assistance to those who are victims of offenses under GS 14-43.11, GS 14-43.12, or GS 14-43.13. Also includes a certification clause requiring that the Attorney General, a district attorney, or any law enforcement official will certify in writing to the United States Department of Justice or other federal agency, such as the United States Department of Homeland Security, that an investigation or prosecution under this article for a violation of GS 14-43.11, GS 14-43.12, or GS 14-43.13 has begun and the individual who is a likely victim of one of those crimes is willing to cooperate or is cooperating with the investigation to enable the individual, if eligible, to qualify for an appropriate special immigrant visa and to access federal benefits. Cooperation with law enforcement is not required of victims who are under 18 years of age. This certification will be made available to the victim and the victim's designated legal representative. Provides that specified property forfeiture provisions are applicable.
Enacts new GS 14-208.1 to prohibit prosecuting a minor for a violation of Article 27 (Prostitution) of GS Chapter 14. Provides that minors suspected of or charged with prostitution are subject to specified temporary protective custody provisions. Requires a law enforcement officer to immediately report an allegation of a violation of GS 14-43.11 (human trafficking) and GS 14-43.13 (sexual servitude) to the director of the county department of social services, which must commence an initial investigation into child abuse or child neglect within 24 hours.
Enacts new GS 15A-145.6 (Expunctions for certain defendants convicted of prostitution), providing the terms and definitions to be used in this section, including prostitution offense and violent felony or violent misdemeanor. Allows a person who pleads guilty or was found guilty of a prostitution offense to file a petition in court, where the conviction occurred, for expunction of the offense provided that they meet the following criteria:
(1) The person has not previously been convicted of any violent felony or violent misdemeanor under the laws of the United States or the laws of this state or any other state.
(2) The person satisfies any one of the following:
a. The person's participation in the prostitution offense was a result of having been a trafficking victim under GS 14-43.11 (human trafficking) or GS. 14-43.13 (sexual servitude) or a victim of a severe form of trafficking under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act (22 U.S.C. § 7102(13)). b. The person was less than 18 years old at the time that the person committed the offense.
Petition may not be filed earlier than three years after serving the full sentence. Provides the rules for filing such petitions and what they must state and contain in order to be considered. The petitions are to be served on the district attorney (DA) of the convicting court. The DA has 30 days thereafter to file any objection. The DA must make his or her best effort to contact the victim in order to notify the victim of the expunction request. Provides the specified steps and issues that will be followed by the court in rendering a decision on the petition. Orders the court to restore the person to the status occupied prior to the arrest or indictment if the court finds specified requirements are met, including, but not limited to, the petitioner has no outstanding warrants or pending criminal cases and the criteria set out in subsection (b) of this section are satisfied. Provides other effects and requirements that must take place after a petition for expunction is granted (for example, the court will order that the conviction of the prostitution offense be expunged from the records of the court and direct all law enforcement agencies to do the same).
Amends GS 15B-2 (Definitions) of Article 1 (Crime victim's compensation act), adding the following classification to the definition of a claimant--"a person who was convicted of a first offense under Article 27 and whose participation in the offense was a result of having been a trafficking victim or a victim of a severe form of trafficking under the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act." Also provides that a claimant cannot be the offender or an accomplice of the offender, except as provided in sub-subdivision (e) of this subdivision (previously, no language referring to sub-subdivision (e) was included).
Enacts GS 115C-12(41), providing that the State Board of Education, in collaboration with the Division of Social Services, in order to provide awareness and training materials on human trafficking, will provide awareness and training materials for local boards of education on human trafficking, including strategies for the prevention of trafficking.
Enacts GS 115C-47(61), providing that local boards of education must obtain resource information on human trafficking and materials for distribution that describe local, state, and national resources in which strategies for the prevention of trafficking of children can be found.
Enacts GS 143B-153(9), providing that the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) must establish a single, statewide toll-free telephone number to be used as a central hotline for reporting suspected cases of human trafficking. DHHS will also work with the county departments of social services to establish hotlines for reporting cases of human trafficking.
Effective December 1, 2013.
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