Ernie Walton, Administrative Director of the Center for Global Justice, attended a press conference this morning in Richmond where the enactment of Virginia’s first standalone sex trafficking law was officially announced. Read more details about the law below:
Arlington, VA— On Wednesday, April 15 at 9:00 am EST, Delegate Tim Hugo and Senator Mark Obenshain are holding a joint press conference in Richmond with the Kids Are Not For Sale Coalition in Virginia to officially announce the enactment of Virginia’s first standalone sex trafficking law. Companion bills HB 1964 and SB 1188 were signed into law on March 27 by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.
When: April 15, 2015 | 9:00 am EST
Where: General Assembly Building, House Briefing Room | 201 North 9th Street, Richmond, VA 23219
- Delegate Timothy Hugo
- Senator Mark Obenshain
- Detective Bill Woolf, Fairfax County Police Department
- Michael Feinmel, Henrico County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney
- Tabatha Mansfield, Kids Are Not For Sale in VA Coalition Coordinator
This legislation was championed by Chief Patron Delegate Timothy Hugo (HB 1964) and Chief Patron Senator Mark Obenshain (SB 1188) and supported by the Kids Are Not For Sale in VA Coalition. Shared Hope International implemented the Kids Are Not For Sale campaign to advocate for the enactment of a strong sex trafficking law in Virginia. The Coalition consists of Virginia law enforcement, prosecutors, service providers, advocacy groups, schools, and hospitals who joined together to advocate for this landmark legislation.
- Clearly defines and establishes the offense of sex trafficking.
- Establishes penalties that reflect the seriousness of the offense.
- Specifically criminalizes child sex trafficking as a Class 3 felony without requiring prosecutors prove that force, intimidation or deception was used to cause the minor to engage in commercial sexual conduct given that traffickers recruit minors by preying on their vulnerability and trust.
- Assists in protecting and properly identifying sex trafficking victims.
- Closes a loophole in Virginia’s existing laws by criminalizing the recruitment of minors and adults for commercial sex—conduct which was not criminalized under Virginia law.
Coalition Coordinator, Kids Are Not For Sale in Virginia
ABOUT THE KIDS ARE NOT FOR SALE IN VA COALTION: The coalition was formed to advocate for the passage and enactment of a sex trafficking statute in Virginia in 2015. In addition to Virginia law enforcement and prosecutors, members include:Shared Hope International, Richmond Justice Initiative, Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, Regent School of Law Center for Global Justice, Anastasis International Mission, Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Initiative, Central Virginia Justice Initiative, Courtney’s House, Vessels of Mercy International, The Gray Haven, Virginia Catholic Conference, Bon Secours Virginia Health Systems, Release Me International, Virginia Trucking Association, The Family Foundation, Straight Street, Youth for Tomorrow, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Virginia, and AAUW Virginia Beach.