FINAL BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
C 231 L 17
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Concerning human trafficking, prostitution, and commercial sexual abuse of a minor.
Sponsors: Senators Darneille, Fain, Hasegawa, Miloscia, Carlyle, Frockt, Chase, Saldaña, Mullet, Pedersen, Conway, Keiser and Kuderer; by request of Attorney General.
Senate Committee on Law & Justice
House Committee on Public Safety
Background: Human trafficking offenses often involve a high degree of duress and control over the victim that makes it very difficult for the victim to report the crime until the victim is free of the power exerted over them by the trafficker. Currently, a shorter statute of limitations applies to trafficking crimes when compared to similarly serious crimes.
Currently, many sexual abuse crimes have an extended statute of limitations if the victim is a child when the crime occurs. The extended statute of limitations permits prosecution until a child victim reaches 30 years of age, recognizing that child victims may not always understand the nature and harm cause by sexual exploitation, or be able to report the crime to law enforcement until they are well into adulthood. Currently, child victims of commercial sexual abuse crimes do not benefit from the extended statute of limitations that applies to child victims of other sexual exploitation crimes. If the statute of limitations is too short, or fails to account for the victim's youth, many trafficking crimes and commercial exploitation crimes involving children may never be prosecuted.
For crimes involving commercial sexual abuse of minors and prostitution, money is not the only payment or profit that is given or received in exchange for commercial sex acts. The criminal transaction may include compensation or payment in the form of drugs, shelter, food, or other value. Currently, commercial sexual abuse, promoting commercial sexual abuse, and prostitution of a minor limit the compensation, payment or profit for the criminal transaction to an offer or exchange of a fee, money, or property.
Summary: The crimes of commercial sexual abuse of a minor, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, and promoting prostitution are modified to specify that the crimes can be committed when anything of value is provided, rather than being limited to providing a fee or other property. The statute of limitations for commercial sexual abuse of a minor, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor, and promoting travel for commercial sexual abuse of a minor are extended to the later of the victim's 30th birthday or ten years after the offense is committed. The statute of limitations for trafficking is extended to ten years after the offense is committed.
Votes on Final Passage:
July 23, 2017