This summer Dean Ernie Walton published an op-ed in the Richmond Times and a paper on SSRN. His Richmond Times article is linked hereand his SSRN paper is linked here. Both of these pieces touch on the issue of protecting sex trafficking in the commonwealth of Virginia.
Walton’s op-ed explains how Virginia was the last state in the union to pass a human trafficking statute and is about to be the last state to pass critical legislation protecting its victims. Walton points out that since the commonwealth criminalized “sex trafficking” in 2015 and has passed many bills about sex trafficking since then, it has not passed one key bill that protects victims: criminal record relief laws. Many survivors are treated and processed as criminals for crimes such as prostitution, despite the fact that they were forced to commit the crime. Almost all other states in the union have passed criminal record relief laws for sex trafficking victims that enable them to remove the burden of this criminal record. In his op-ed, Walton points out that even though the General Assembly has addressed bills on criminal record relief laws in the past, it continues to reject them. Read his article hereto learn more.
In Walton’s article entitled, “Protecting Sex Trafficking Victims Through Expungement and Vacatur Statutes: Will Virginia Join the Rest of the Nation?,” he further develops his argument. In this scholarly paper he explains the benefits of criminal record relief laws and why they are vital for victim recovery. Walton discusses the ranges of laws throughout the states and comes to the conclusion that the commonwealth of Virginia ought to have some similar law. Read Walton’s paper here.
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.