Legislature(2005 - 2006)
04/01/2005 02:09 PM JUD
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|Presentation on Sex Trafficking by Leslie R. Wolfe, Ph.d., President, Center for Women Policy Studies|
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
HB 148 - TRAFFICKING OF PERSONS 3:45:55 PM CHAIR McGUIRE announced that the next order of business would be HOUSE BILL NO. 148, "An Act relating to trafficking of persons." REPRESENTATIVE BETH KERTTULA, Alaska State Legislature, sponsor of HB 148, said that members now have in their packets a new suggested draft from the Department of Law (DOL) which adds that the conduct would be a crime if it involves deception, which is defined in statute. The suggested draft keeps the language regarding bringing a person into the state, since such is quantifiably different than transporting a person within the state. She offered her belief that most people who are being brought into the state are from foreign countries. The DOL's suggested draft reads: "An Act relating to human trafficking; and providing for an effective date." * Section 1. AS 11.41 is amended by adding new sections to read: Sec. 11.41.310. Human trafficking in the first degree. (a) A person commits the crime of human trafficking in the first degree if the person compels or induces another person to come to this state to engage in sexual conduct, adult entertainment, or labor in the state by force or threat of force against any person, or by deception. (b) In this section, (1) "adult entertainment" means the conduct described in AS 23.10.350(f)(1) - (3); (2) "deception" has the meaning given in AS 11.46.180; (3) "sexual conduct" has the meaning given in AS 11.66.150. (c) Human trafficking in the first degree is a class A felony. Sec. 11.41.315. Human trafficking in the second degree. (a) A person commits the crime of human trafficking in the second degree if the person obtains a benefit from the commission of human trafficking under AS 11.41.310, with reckless disregard that the benefit is a result of the trafficking. (b) Human trafficking in the second degree is a class B felony. * Sec. 2. This Act takes effect July 1, 2005. CHAIR McGUIRE said that although the suggested draft is cleaner, she liked the original bill's narrow definition of labor and the fact that it included involuntary servitude. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA offered her belief that the current definition of labor already includes involuntary servitude, and therefore she didn't feel it was necessary to specify it. 3:48:09 PM ANNE CARPENETI, Assistant Attorney General, Legal Services Section-Juneau, Criminal Division, Department of Law (DOL), concurred. CHAIR McGUIRE asked about the language that is currently in proposed AS 11.41.350(b)(1)(A) of HB 148 that reads: any scheme, plan, or pattern of behavior intended to cause a person to believe that, if the person does not enter into or continue the servitude, such person or another person will suffer serious physical injury or physical restraint; REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA posited that the concept embodied in that language is covered under the definition of "deception". REPRESENTATIVE GARA referred to proposed AS 11.41.315 - regarding the crime of human trafficking in the second degree - in the DOL's suggested draft, and asked whether it should be altered such that it would be a crime only if one knew he/she were engaging in human trafficking; in other words, the language currently has a standard of reckless disregard, but should it instead have a standard of knowing disregard. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA acknowledged that point. MS. CARPENETI explained that when the legislature requires a culpable mental state of reckless disregard, "knowing" and "intentional" are also included. Thus it is not a defense for one to say he/she did something intentionally rather than recklessly. REPRESENTATIVE GARA said he is concerned that someone could be charged with this crime even if he/she did not know he/she was obtaining a benefit from human trafficking. MS. CARPENETI mentioned that there are different levels of culpable mental states. CHAIR McGUIRE said her concern is that it would be difficult to have to prove that people were intentionally obtaining a benefit, and referred to strip club owners as an example of those who could claim that they didn't know the women were not there of their own accord. 3:53:03 PM REPRESENTATIVE GARA opined that his suggestion is worth some thought, however. REPRESENTATIVE KERTTULA concurred with Chair McGuire, adding that in order to be prosecuted, one must have known the risk and consciously disregarded it. She opined that someone who has hired a woman from another country has a duty to ask the woman what her situation is. CHAIR McGUIRE concurred, reiterating her belief that it would be too hard to prove a crime has been committed if the standard is raised above reckless disregard. 3:54:47 PM CHAIR McGUIRE made a motion to adopt Conceptual Amendment 1, to replace the text in HB 148 with the language in the DOL's suggested draft [text provided previously]. There being no objection, Conceptual Amendment 1 was adopted. 3:55:59 PM REPRESENTATIVE DAHLSTROM moved to report HB 148, as amended, out of committee with individual recommendations and the accompanying zero fiscal notes. There being no objection, CSHB 148(JUD) was reported from the House Judiciary Standing Committee.