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Sex trafficking bill signed into law
12 April 2018, 10:03 | Lena Norman
Chris Kleponis UPI
The passing of the legislation brought on a federal investigation into Backpage.com, which ultimately shut down the classified advertising website.
Establishes enhanced penalties-a fine, a prison term of up to 25 years, or both-for a person who commits the offense in one of the following aggravating circumstances: (1) promotes or facilitates the prostitution of five or more persons, or (2) acts with reckless disregard that such conduct contributes to sex trafficking.
"President Trump's signature on this anti-human-trafficking legislation is a strike for freedom for women - and we look forward to building on today's momentum to finally put an end to this modern form of slavery".
Republican U.S. Senator, Rob Portman, a co-sponsor of the Senate version of the bill said "this is a momentous day in the fight to help stop online sex trafficking, and a big victory for trafficking victims and survivors, who for too long have been denied the opportunity to get the justice they deserve". "You are not alone". The site offered classified listings for a wide variety of products and services including prostitution and sex trafficking. Seven people associated with the website were recently indicted on charges of facilitating prostitution, conspiracy and money laundering.
"This wasn't just happening in other countries, it's hiding in plain sight in our own country", she said, noting that in the last five years, there has been an 846% increase in child sex trafficking reports at the same time the crime has moved "from the streets to the Internet". "It means so much to our family", she said.
The bill has also had a high-profile advocate in first daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, who adopted combating human trafficking as a part of her West Wing portfolio, hosting multiple listening sessions and meetings on the topic in recent months. But the president ignored shouted questions about those topics after the signing ceremony. "I'm signing this bill in your honor", declared Trump.
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