OLR Bill Analysis
sHB 5621 (as amended by House "A")*
AN ACT CONCERNING HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
This bill makes a number of changes related to human trafficking. It:
1. increases the Trafficking in Persons Council's membership and changes the council's charge;
2. requires each state's attorney and municipal police chief to annually report information on trafficking cases and their anti-trafficking efforts to the Children's and Judiciary committees;
3. requires hotel, motel, inn, and similar lodging operators to (a) maintain a system to keep records of all guest transactions and receipts for at least six months and (b) ensure that their employees receive training on human trafficking when they are hired and provide ongoing awareness campaigns (§§ 3 & 5);
4. requires the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) commissioners to consult with state and national hotel and lodging associations to recommend a training and refresher training program related to human trafficking;
5. prohibits someone age 16 or 17 from being convicted of prostitution;
6. expands the conduct punishable as a class C felony under the crime of patronizing a prostitute;
7. sets the fine that is part of the penalty for certain prostitution-related crimes at the maximum of the range that is currently applicable for each crime;
8. expands the crime of enticing a minor to include enticing a minor age 16 or 17 or someone reasonably believed to be under age 18;
9. requires more people to post a notice about services for human trafficking victims;
10. changes the types of property subject to forfeiture as tainted funds and property related to sexual exploitation and human trafficking by (a) eliminating funds and property related to prostitution from these procedures and (b) subjecting to forfeiture property used or intended for use to commit or facilitate committing the crimes of patronizing a prostitute or patronizing a prostitute from a motor vehicle;
11. expands the trafficking in persons crime and allows the court to impose a standing criminal protective order against someone convicted of certain types of trafficking;
12. requires the judicial branch's family violence training program for judges, certain branch employees, and guardians ad litem to include an examination of the factors that contribute to a family being at risk of domestic violence; and
13. alters eligibility for vacating prostitution convictions.
*House Amendment “A” (1) adds appointments to the council by the Senate president pro tempore and House speaker and eliminates one of the governor's appointments; (2) requires DCF and DESPP to consult with lodging associations to recommend training programs, rather than requiring DCF to consult with DESPP in developing the programs as in the original file; (3) requires lodging operators to train employees at the time of hire and provide ongoing awareness campaigns, instead of annual training as required by the original file; (4) requires lodging operators to certify that employees received training in the employee's personnel files rather than certifying to DCF as required by the original bill, and eliminates a penalty for failing to comply with the bill's training requirements; (5) expands the crime of enticing a minor to punish someone who reasonably believes the person being enticed is under age 18; (6) expands the trafficking in persons crime and allows the court to impose a standing criminal protective order against someone convicted of certain types of trafficking; (7) adds the provisions on the Judicial Branch training program, eligibility for vacating prostitution convictions, and fines for promoting or permitting prostitution crimes; and (8) eliminates provisions on using certain fine revenue for trafficking investigations.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016, except the annual reporting requirement for each state's attorney and municipal police chief is effective upon passage.
§ 1 — TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS COUNCIL
The bill increases the Trafficking in Persons Council's membership from 22 to 25. It does so by:
1. adding as members the consumer protection commissioner and Police Officer Standards and Training Council Basic Training Division director, or their designees;
2. adding as a second appointment by the Senate president pro tempore a public member representing the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence;
3. adding as a second appointment by the House speaker a public member representing the Connecticut Lodging Association; and
4. eliminating, as one of the governor's appointments, a member representing Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services, Inc.
As under current law, the other members are:
1. the chief states attorney and chief public defender, or their designees;
2. the DCF, DESPP, labor, mental health and addiction services, public health, and social services commissioners, or their designees;
3. the child advocate and victim advocate, or their designees;
4. the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women chairperson, or her designee;
5. a judicial branch Office of Victim Services representative, appointed by the chief court administrator;
6. a municipal police chief, appointed by the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association, or the chief's designee;
7. a public member representing victims of commercial exploitation of children and a public member representing child sex trafficking victims, appointed by the governor;
8. a public member representing an organization that provides civil legal services to low-income individuals, appointed by the Senate president pro tempore;
9. a public member representing the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, appointed by the House Speaker;
10. a public member representing an organization that deals with the behavioral health needs of women and children, appointed by the Senate majority leader;
11. a public member representing an organization that advocates on social justice and human rights, appointed by the House majority leader;
12. a public member representing the Connecticut Immigrant and Refugee Coalition, appointed by the Senate minority leader; and
13. a public member representing the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, Inc., appointed by the House minority leader.
The bill changes the council's charge by (1) eliminating requirements that it identify criteria for providing services to adult and child trafficking victims and (2) requiring it to coordinate the collection, analysis, and dissemination of data on human trafficking. By law, the council must also meet to provide updates and progress reports and consult with governmental and nongovernmental organizations in developing recommendations on trafficking efforts.
§ 2 — REPORTS ON TRAFFICKING ACTIVITIES AND STATISTICS
The bill requires each state's attorney (there are 13 state's attorneys, one for each judicial district in the state) and each municipal police chief to report to the Children's and Judiciary committees annually, beginning by October 1, 2016, on:
1. their participation in federal, statewide, or regional anti-trafficking efforts;
2. the number of referrals made related to human trafficking allegations;
3. the criteria used when deciding whether to investigate human trafficking allegations or initiate related criminal proceedings;
4. coordination between the Chief State's Attorney's Office and local police departments on trafficking cases;
5. the nature of annual training provided by each state's attorney and local police departments on trafficking;
6. obstacles to investigating trafficking;
7. the number of missing children investigations;
8. the number of referrals from DCF relating to trafficking; and
9. the number of trafficking cases referred for prosecution.
The bill also requires state's attorneys to report for the previous 12 months on the (1) number of trafficking cases resulting in convictions and (2) final dispositions of trafficking cases, including those appealed.
§ 4 — TRAINING
The bill requires the DCF and DESPP commissioners to consult with state and national hotel and lodging associations to recommend a training and refresher training program for the accurate and prompt identification and reporting of suspected human trafficking. The commissioners must develop and approve a video presentation as part of the training that offers guidance to hotel, motel, and similar lodging employees on recognizing potential trafficking victims and common trafficking activities.
§ 5 — EMPLOYEE TRAINING
The bill requires hotel, motel, and similar lodging operators to ensure that employees in these establishments receive training when they are hired on recognizing potential trafficking victims and common trafficking activities. Operators must also conduct ongoing awareness campaigns for employees on common human trafficking activities.
Annually, beginning by October 1, 2017, operators must certify in each employee's personnel file that the employee received the training.
§ 6 — PROSTITUTION
The bill prohibits someone age 16 or 17 from being convicted of prostitution. Currently, someone this age can be convicted of prostitution but he or she is presumed to be a human trafficking victim, which provides an affirmative defense to a prostitution charge.
By law, prostitution is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
§ 7 — PATRONIZING A PROSTITUTE
Currently, patronizing a prostitute is a class C felony if the person knew or reasonably should have known at the time of the offense that the prostitute was under age 18 or a trafficking victim. The bill subjects someone to this penalty regardless of whether he or she knows or should know the prostitute's age or status as a trafficking victim. By law, a class C felony is punishable by one to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
By law, other forms of patronizing a prostitute are punishable as a class A misdemeanor. The bill sets the fine at $2,000 for this crime. Currently, courts can impose a fine of up to $2,000.
§§ 8 & 16-19 — FINES FOR CERTAIN PROSTITUTION-RELATED CRIMES
The bill sets the fine that is part of the penalty for certain prostitution-related crimes at the maximum of the range that is currently applicable for each crime, as shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Penalties for Various Prostitution-Related Crimes and Changes to Fines Under the Bill
Fine Under the Bill
Patronizing a prostitute from a motor vehicle (§ 8)
Class A misdemeanor
Up to one year
Up to $2,000
1st degree promoting prostitution (§ 16)
Class B felony
Up to 20 years, with a nine-month mandatory minimum if involving prostitute under age 18
Up to $15,000
2nd degree promoting prostitution (§ 17)
Class C felony
Up to 10 years
Up to $10,000
3rd degree promoting prostitution (§ 18)
Class D felony
Up to five years
Up to $5,000
Permitting (§ 19) prostitution
Class A misdemeanor
Up to one year
Up to $2,000
§ 9 — ENTICING A MINOR
By law, a person commits this crime by using an interactive computer service to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, or coerce a minor to engage in prostitution or illegal sexual activity.
The bill expands this crime to include enticing a minor age 16 or 17; current law applies to minors under age 16. It also expands the crime to punish someone who reasonably believes the person being enticed is under age 18.
By law, this crime is a class D felony for a first offense, a class C felony for a second offense, and a class B felony for a third or subsequent offense. But it is a class B felony when the victim is under age 13, with a five-year mandatory minimum for a first offense and a 10-year mandatory minimum for a subsequent offense.
§ 10 — POSTING TRAFFICKING NOTICES
The bill requires more people to post a notice developed by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator about services for human trafficking victims.
It expands the types of service stops that must post the notice. Currently, privately owned and operated facilities offering food, fuel, lawful overnight truck parking, and shower and laundry facilities must post it. The bill instead requires any publicly or privately operated service plaza to post it.
It requires hotels, motels, similar lodgings, and businesses that offer for sale or promote performances for adult audiences to post the notice.
The bill requires someone to post the notice if he or she holds one of the following types of on-premises consumption permits for the retail sale of alcohol: restaurant permit, restaurant permit for beer, restaurant permit for wine and beer, or café permit. As under existing law, other retail alcohol permit holders must post the notice, except for those who only hold one or more of the following permits:
1. caterer, railroad, boat, airline, military, charitable organization, or special club permit;
2. temporary liquor or temporary beer permit; or
3. farm winery or beer manufacturer permit, beer and brew pub manufacturer permit, or other manufacturer permit.
By law, this notice must state the toll-free state and federal anti-trafficking hotline numbers that someone can call if he or she is forced to engage in an activity and cannot leave.
§§ 12 & 14 —TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS CRIME AND STANDING CRIMINAL PROTECTIVE ORDERS
The bill expands the trafficking in persons crime. Currently, a person can commit this crime by compelling or inducing another person to engage in multiple occurrences of sexual contact with at least one third person by (1) using or threatening to use force against either person or (2) committing fraud or coercing the person. The bill expands the crime by requiring only one occurrence of sexual contact under these circumstances.
Currently, another way to commit this crime is to compel or induce someone under age 18 to engage in more than one occurrence of sexual contact that is prostitution or illegal sexual contact with a third person. The bill expands the crime by requiring only one occurrence of sexual contact and eliminating references to prostitution. The bill also allows the court to impose a standing criminal protective order against someone convicted of committing this type of trafficking.
By law, this crime is a class B felony, punishable by one to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
§ 13 — JUDICIAL BRANCH TRAINING
The bill requires the judicial branch's family violence training program to include an examination of the factors that contribute to a family being at risk of domestic violence. By law, the branch provides this training to judges, Court Support Services Division personnel, guardians ad litem, and clerks.
As under current law, this training program covers policies and procedures on family relations matters, family violence prevention and response, the function of family violence intervention units, and restraining and protective orders.
As under current law, the branch may consult with domestic violence organizations on the training program.
§ 15 — VACATING PROSTITUTION CONVICTIONS
The bill alters eligibility for vacating prostitution convictions.
Current law allows anyone convicted of prostitution to apply to Superior Court to vacate the conviction because he or she was a victim of conduct that, at the time of the offense, amounts to a crime of trafficking in persons under state law or involuntary servitude, slavery, or trafficking under federal law.
Instead of tying eligibility to the person's status at the time of the prostitution crime as described above, the bill requires the person to show that his or her participation in the prostitution crime was because he or she was a victim of trafficking or the conduct described above.
By law, after receiving an application to vacate a prostitution conviction, the court must (1) give the prosecutor an opportunity to investigate and contest the application and (2) vacate the judgment and dismiss the charge if the defendant proves he or she was a victim of the conduct.
Standing Criminal Protective Order
The law allows the court to issue one of these orders when:
1. someone is convicted of a family violence crime or certain other crimes against a family or household member and
2. the history, character, nature, and circumstances of the offender's conduct indicates that the order best serves the victim's and public's interests.
The court may issue an order for just cause after a person is convicted of another type of crime.
The court sets the order's duration and terms and can modify or revoke it for good cause (CGS § 53a-40e).
sHB 5052 (File 397), favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee, contains an identical provision requiring lodging operator record-keeping. It also contains similar, but not identical provisions, expanding the crimes of enticing a minor and trafficking in persons and allowing the court to impose a standing criminal restraining order against someone convicted of committing certain types of trafficking. The bill also increases the penalty for patronizing a prostitute under certain circumstances.
sHB 5623 (File 597), favorably reported by the Judiciary Committee, contains identical provisions on annual reports on trafficking activities, lodging recordkeeping, prohibiting someone age 16 or 17 from being convicted of prostitution, increasing the penalty for certain forms of patronizing a prostitute, posting trafficking notices, and forfeitures related to trafficking. It contains similar, but not identical, provisions on the Trafficking in Persons Council, training program on suspected human trafficking, lodging employee training, and Judicial Branch training. It also contains provisions on serving civil restraining orders and terminating parental rights when a child is conceived as a result of a sexual assault.
Joint Favorable Substitute