Human trafficking

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee heard HB 1200 authored by Rep. McNamara regarding human trafficking. The bill modifies the definition of “protected person” for purposes of the admission of a statement or videotape of an individual who is less than 14 years of age at the time of the offense. The bill removes the requirement that money paid for a human trafficking victim or for an act performed by a human trafficking victim be paid to a third party. The bill increases the penalty if the human trafficking victim is less than 18 years of age. Specifies that: (1) consent by the human trafficking victim; or (2) a belief that the human trafficking victim was at least 18 years of age; is not a defense to a prosecution. The bill also requires law enforcement agencies to report human trafficking investigations to the attorney general within 30 days after an investigation begins.

The bill was amended by consent to clarify that a protected person is a child who is less than fourteen (14) years of age at the time of the offense but less than eighteen (18) years of age at the time of trial.

The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council testified in support of the bill. The Indiana Public Defender Council testified in opposition.  The amended bill passed 11-0.

Read the bill at: http://www.iga.in.gov/legislative/2021/bills/house/1200