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AB-12 Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act of 2011.(2011-2012)

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Assembly Bill No. 12
CHAPTER 75

An act to add Section 261.9 to the Penal Code, relating to human trafficking.

[ Approved by Governor  July 11, 2011. Filed with Secretary of State  July 12, 2011. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 12, Swanson. Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act of 2011.
Under existing law, any person who is convicted of pimping or procuring a minor under the age of 16 for prostitution may be ordered by a court to pay an additional fine not to exceed $5,000 to be deposited in the Victim-Witness Assistance Fund to be available for appropriation to fund child sexual exploitation and child sexual abuse victim counseling centers and prevention programs, as provided.
This bill would enact the Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act of 2011, and would require that a person who is convicted of seeking to procure or procuring the sexual services of a prostitute, if the prostitute is under 18 years of age, be ordered to pay an additional fine not to exceed $25,000 to be available upon appropriation by the Legislature to fund programs and services for commercially sexually exploited minors in the counties where the underlying offenses are committed.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act of 2011 or ACCESS Act of 2011.

SEC. 2.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Sexual slavery of minors through human trafficking is one of the most sophisticated forms of organized crime in the country and is now globally recognized as a modern day form of slavery.
(2) Human trafficking and sexual exploitation involve the recruitment, transportation, and sale of people, primarily women and children, to work in the sex trade. California has become a major hub of international and domestic interstate human trafficking.
(3) A United States Department of Justice study estimates that over 300,000 American children are at risk of being forced into prostitution. Human trafficking and child sexual exploitation are not phenomena exclusive to countries outside the United States or to states other than California. It is a universal crisis that is occurring in our own backyards and in our city streets in broad daylight.
(4) Children are not safe from trafficking and exploitation in California. Some of the children trafficked are as young as four years old, but many more are only 11 or 12 years of age.
(5) Researchers agree that internationally the median age for the entrance of girls into prostitution is 14 years of age. In the United States, the ages vary from state to state, and in California the average age is about 12 years old.
(6) The business of the trafficking of children would not exist without the demand for the services of those children by the men and women who purchase those services on the streets. California needs to increase the fines against persons who engage children in these illicit activities.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting the Abolition of Child Commerce, Exploitation, and Sexual Slavery Act of 2011 to recast the state’s laws relating to human trafficking and child sex slavery to treat the trafficked children as victims, rather than prostitutes. It is also the intent of the Legislature that the ACCESS Act of 2011 will ensure that persons funding the illicit activities of human traffickers and paying for the services of child sex slaves are treated as severely under the law as an adult engaging in a sex act with a minor. The predator should be dealt with the same, regardless of whether that person is paying for the sexual services of the minor he or she is abusing.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the ACCESS Act of 2011 further these purposes and also ensure that these victimized children are given access to proper treatment and the resources they need to be safe from the men and women who exploit them commercially.

SEC. 3.

 Section 261.9 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

261.9.
 (a) Any person convicted of seeking to procure or procuring the sexual services of a prostitute in violation of subdivision (b) of Section 647, if the prostitute is under 18 years of age, shall be ordered by the court, in addition to any other penalty or fine imposed, to pay an additional fine in an amount not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).
(b) Every fine imposed and collected pursuant to this section shall, upon appropriation by the Legislature, be available to fund programs and services for commercially sexually exploited minors in the counties where the underlying offenses are committed.