OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 153

AN ACT PROVIDING A SAFE HARBOR FOR EXPLOITED CHILDREN.

SUMMARY:

This bill makes prostitution a crime only for people age 16 and older. Under current law, prostitution is a crime regardless of the offender's age.

The bill creates a presumption (i. e. , one that must be rebutted by the prosecution) that a 16- or 17-year-old charged with prostitution was coerced into committing the offense by another person in violation of the law against trafficking in persons (CGS 53a-192a). Current law allows anyone accused of prostitution to assert that he or she was coerced by the use or threat of force as an affirmative defense.

The bill increases the penalty for promoting prostitution using a person who is less than 18 years old. It does so by making it a class B, rather than a class C, felony. The penalty for a class B felony is a prison sentence of one to 20 years, a fine of up to $ 15,000, or both. The penalty for a class C felony is a prison sentence of one to 10 years, a fine of up to $ 10,000, or both. The bill imposes a nine-month mandatory minimum prison sentence for promoting prostitution of someone under age 18.

Under current law, advancing or profiting from the prostitution of a person under 16 years old is promoting prostitution in the first degree. It is not clear what effect the bill would have on prosecuting people for this crime.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2010

COMMITTEE ACTION

Select Committee on Children

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference

Yea

11

Nay

1

(03/09/2010)

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

39

Nay

1

(03/26/2010)