AN ACT TO IMPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE NORTH CAROLINA HUMAN TRAFFICKING COMMISSION.
Identical to H 198, filed 2/26/19.
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. Effective 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. Effective December 1, 2019.
Enacts GS 14-43.18, establishing a civil cause of action for a victim to bring against a person in violation of Article 10A (Human Trafficking) or a person who knowingly benefits financially or by receiving anything of value from participation in a venture which the person knew or should have known violates Article 10A. Allows the victim to seek an injunction, compensatory damages, and general damages for economic losses, as specified. Allows for the court to award attorneys' fees to either the plaintiff or the defendant. Requires a civil action under the statute to be stayed during the pendency of any criminal action arising out of the same occurrence in which the plaintiff is a victim. Sets the statute of limitations on the action at 10 years after the cause of action arose or 10 years after the victim reaches 18 years of age if the victim was a minor at the time of the alleged offense. Provides for the right to jury trial in the action. Effective July 1, 2019.
Amends GS 15A-145.6(b), regarding expunction eligibility for prostitution offenses for human trafficking victims. Currently an individual must satisfy one of three criteria to be eligible for expunction under the statute. Removes one of the qualifying criteria for expunction that required the person's participation in the prostitution offense to have been the result of having been a trafficking or sexual servitude victim. Modifies one of the two remaining qualifying criteria to require the person to be discharged and the charge dismissed upon completion if a conditional discharge under GS 14-204(b) (was, the person received a conditional discharge pursuant to GS 14-204(b)).
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 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 DNS records and samples stored in the State DNA Database and the State DNA Databank. Waives the cost of expunging the records.
Adds expunction records of certain offenses committed by human trafficking victims pursuant to GS 15A-145.8 to those confidential files maintained under GS 15A-151.5 electronically available to all prosecutors of the State if the criminal record was expunged on or after July 1, 2018.
Changes to GS 15A-145.6, new GS 15A-145.9, and changes to GS 15A-151.5 are effective 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 judgement. Effective 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. Requires the motion to be contemporaneously served upon the district attorney in the prosecutorial district in which the conviction was entered (previously, required reasonable notice served upon the State). Gives the district attorney 30 days to file any objection and requires dual notification as to the date of the motion's hearing. Requires the defendant to demonstrate by the preponderance of the evidence that the violation was a direct result of the defendant having been a victim of human trafficking or sexual servitude and that the offenses would not have been committed but for the defendant having been such a victim. Allows evidence to include a sworn statement or affidavit from a federal, State, or local law enforcement officer who investigated a prostitution violation or the federal Trafficking Act violation, as stated in the defendant's motion. Specifies that a previous or subsequent conviction does not affect a person's eligibility for relief under the statute. Effective December 1, 2019.
Appropriates $250,000 in recurring funds from the General Fund to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to support the NC Human Trafficking Commission.
Includes a severability clause.
Effective July 1, 2019.
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