Sophia Cooney 0

Make Human Trafficking a Felony Offense

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In January 2018, Delegate Chang introduced House Bill 6: Criminal Law-Human Trafficking-Felony, in attempts to establish that all violations of the State’s prohibition on human trafficking are felony offenses. The bill unanimously passed in the Senate but failed in the House. Governor Hogan pledged to re-introduce legislation to categorize human trafficking as a crime of violence in Maryland. This bill would increase prison time for offenders. The proposed new bill will be entitled: Felony Human Trafficking Act of 2019.

Under current Maryland law, § 11-303 of the Criminal Procedure Article, a person who commits human trafficking involving an adult victim is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000. While a misdemeanor generally carries a 1-year statute of limitations, the misdemeanor offense of human trafficking is subject to prosecution at any time.

The proposed bill:

  • Human Trafficking of a Minor: A person who commits human trafficking involving a victim who is a minor (defined as an individual younger than age 18) is guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment for up to 25 years and/or a maximum fine of $15,000.
  • Human Trafficking (Compelled Marriage or Performance of Specified Acts): The felony human trafficking penalty also applies to a person who knowingly takes or detains another person with the intent to use force, threat, coercion, or fraud to compel the other person to marry the person or a third person or perform a sexual act, sexual contact, or vaginal intercourse.
  • Human Trafficking (Financial Benefit or Aiding and Abetting): A person who knowingly aids, abets, or conspires in the violation of human trafficking laws or knowingly benefits financially from ventures or activities in violation of State human trafficking laws is subject to the same penalties imposed on a person who violated the applicable statute.

Please support the future passing of this bill. Human trafficking is a crime of violence and should be prosecuted as one.

To learn more about human trafficking please see: To learn more about human trafficking please check out :

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