Human trafficking

The Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee heard HB 1270 on human trafficking, sponsored by Sen. Head, Sen. Brown, and Sen. Ruckelshaus. The bill changes the human and sexual trafficking statute by:

  • reclassifying the term “human and sexual trafficking” to “human trafficking”, which includes the offenses of labor and sexual trafficking;
  • creating separate offenses for labor and sexual trafficking and renaming certain crimes;
  • removing the element of force from forced labor, marriage, prostitution, and participating in sexual conduct;
  • removing involuntary servitude from the human trafficking statute;
  • removing from the sexual trafficking statute the element that a solicitor must know that a person is a human trafficking victim before committing the offense; and
  • adding elements to certain human and sexual trafficking offenses.
  • expanding the rape shield statute to include victims of human trafficking and certain other offenses. Adds an element to the defense of prosecution under the offenses of sexual misconduct with a minor and promotion of sexual trafficking of a younger child.
  • prohibiting certain defenses to a prosecution of making an unlawful proposition.
  • requiring law enforcement to notify the department of child services of a possible child trafficking victim in certain sexual offenses.
  • urging the legislative council to assign to an appropriate interim study committee the task of studying the topic of human trafficking in Indiana involving law enforcement, creation of programs, and review of the penalties for human trafficking crimes in the criminal code.
  • requiring the Commission on Improving the Status of Children in Indiana to study the topic of what specific authority a law enforcement officer has in order to take custody of or detain a child in certain situations where the officer believes a child may be a victim of human trafficking and who is potentially a child in need of services.

The bill was amended by consent to insert the language from SB 140 on common nuisance and marijuana. The amendment provides a defense to the crime of maintaining a common nuisance if: (1) the location was not primarily used for specified unlawful acts; (2) the charged offense involves less than a specified quantity of marijuana, hashish, hash oil, or salvia or involves paraphernalia; and (3) the person does not have a prior unrelated conviction for maintaining a common nuisance.  The bill was supported by the Indiana Prosecutors Council, the Indiana Sheriffs Association, and the Indiana Attorney General. The amended bill passed 8-0.

Read the bill at: