A bill to help prosecutors convict predators who traffic in sex slavery passed in the California Senate Monday, announced a representative for Senator Toni Atkins.
Atkins created SB 230 to add sex trafficking, pimping and pandering to the list of crimes that does not allow character evidence to be used in a trial.
That helps add these sex trafficking crimes to a list of other offenses that prohibit character evidence, including cases involving sexual offenses, domestic violence, elder or dependent abuse and child abuse, said the statement.
"As a result of the complex and exploitative relationship between victims and their traffickers, cases of human trafficking, pimping and pandering are notoriously difficult to prosecute," Atkins said on the Senate floor.
"Additionally, much like victims of other sexual offenses, many victims of sex trafficking have been groomed, controlled or even brainwashed by their traffickers and do not see themselves as victims – at least not initially," added Atkins.
"Thus, securing victim testimony in human trafficking trials is difficult."
The bill will help prosecutors consider a sex traffickers' prior activities as evidence related to their current ones, explained the statement.
"I want to thank my Senate colleagues for their bipartisan support for this sensible measure to help bring sex traffickers to justice," Atkins concluded after the vote.
Next, the bill SB 230 will be considered at the state Assembly, announced the statement.
In late March, Atkins introduced three measures aimed at combatting human trafficking. According to Senator Atkins, San Diego is one of three California cities on the FBI’s list of top 13 cities in the country for sex trafficking.