How Are Human and Sex Trafficking Legally Addressed in California?

How Are Human and Sex Trafficking Legally Addressed in California?

California Penal Code § 236.1 covers the definition and penalties of human trafficking and the different types of crimes conducted. The perpetrator of human trafficking is someone who deprives and violates another person, the victim, to obtain services from that victim for personal gain.

The method of gaining that service is done through fraudulent and deceitful promises, to get that person into a position of compliance. Obtaining that service can also be done through violence, threats of violence and physical injury, to where the victim is compliant to the perpetrator’s wishes, to avoid being injured or worse.

Forced Labor

Trafficked people are sometimes put in menial labor situations for a “set” period to pay off the fees (with interest) for transporting them to the United States illegally. Men may be put in undercover illegal warehouse jobs, while women are put in household cleaning and cooking positions. Women may also be subjected by threats or force to offer sexual services to a certain clientele.

Based on circumstances of the crime, the penalty can be higher, up to life imprisonment along with the $500,000 fine

Sex Trafficking of Juveniles

Sex trafficking of juveniles is a global-wide crime where children can be bribed by offers of caring for a child, offering them the love they never had at home, and other persuasive tactics. Children who run away from abusive home situations are targets for these predators, as well as those who are caught alone while away from their parents on outings.

While grooming of such children may lead to them thinking they will find a better life, there is always the inherent threat of punishment if children do not comply with their “managers.”

Involvement of the FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were already at work to bring down sex trafficking crimes in Atlanta in the weeks before the recent Super Bowl, making 33 arrests ahead of the game. Since then, during and after the Super Bowl, a total of 169 arrests have now been made in Atlanta, according to a post on Many large events of this nature are targets for selling services, as well as searching for new victims, both boys and girls.

In San Diego County, as of June 2018, there were between 8,000 to nearly 12,000 survivors of human trafficking, according to an article posted at The Coast News Group Online. Of these survivors, nearly 80 percent are United States citizens, while 11.4 percent are from Mexico.

Penalties for Human and Sex Trafficking

Under California Penal Code § 236.1(a), the punishment for those who deprive or violate the personal liberty of another, to obtain forced labor services is punished by state imprisonment for 5, 8, or 12 years, and a fine of not more than $500,000.

Under California Penal Code § 236.1(b), those who deprive another person with the intent to rape, abduct, and seduce children (§ 266), are imprisoned in state prison for 8, 14, to 20 years and a fine of $500,000 or less.

Under California Penal Code § 236.1(c), those who cause, induce, or persuade a minor person to engage in commercial sex acts, may receive a sentence of 5, 8, 12 years imprisonment and a fine of $500,000. Based on circumstances of the crime, the penalty can be higher, up to life imprisonment along with the $500,000 fine.

If you have been falsely accused of human or sex trafficking, or of obtaining services to have sex with minors, call us at once for a consultation. 619-234-2300

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