The spring semester (my last semester as a first year in law school…yikes!) is coming to a close. The work I am doing on Shared Hope’s Protected Innocence Challenge is also coming to a close. As a team, the student staff working on this project, has analyzed all 50 U.S. states and their respective statutes on sex trafficking facilitators. I have personally analyzed nine states, including my home state of Texas. I have learned that even statutes intended for good, to punish sex trafficking facilitators, can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. The unforeseen consequences that we are particularly interested in are the repercussions on victim-offenders. Victim-offenders are distinct from facilitators, because facilitators typically act in order to financially benefit. Two of the concerns that victim-offenders face are (1) being required to register as a sex-offender and (2) the termination of parental rights. Myself and the other student staff members on this project look at state statutes regarding the facilitation of sex trafficking to see if there is a requirement that the act be done to derive a financial benefit. If a financial benefit component is not required, then victim-offenders could potentially be prosecuted for “facilitating” sex trafficking. It has been my pleasure to work on a project that gives a voice to the victims of sex trafficking. It is my hope that our research can be used by Shared Hope to propose constructive feedback to state legislators.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice student staff member. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.