Fighting Human Trafficking

This session, I am supporting legislation that increases the penalties for criminals involved in human trafficking.

Under current law, individuals who purchase the services of a trafficked person receive a less severe penalty than the trafficker. Senate Bill 155 would make the penalty equal for both parties at a Level 4 Felony.

SB 155 would also eliminate the defense that the trafficked individual gave consent, since victims of human trafficking are in no position to give consent to their continued abuse.

Lastly, this bill would require law enforcement agencies to report any investigations into human trafficking to the Attorney General, allowing the state to have a better overall view of potential trends and possible solutions going forward.

Although it is incredibly sad that we need to address this issue, my hope is that these changes in policy will crack down on these criminals and, as a result, keep more Hoosiers safe.

Sen. Phil Boots represents Montgomery, Fountain, Parke, Vermillion and Warren counties and a portion of Boone County. He is one of the shareholders of The Paper of Montgomery County.