HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Senator Kim Ward (R-39) to require offenders convicted of any sex trafficking-related offenses to register under Megan’s Law was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee today.
Pennsylvania currently requires only offenders convicted of trafficking minors to be registered under Megan’s Law. Senate Bill 136 would add offenders convicted of sexually trafficking adults, patronizing a victim of sexual servitude, or subjecting someone to sexual servitude.
“Pennsylvania had the seventh-highest rate of human trafficking reports in 2017,” said Ward. “Most defendants in the FBI’s human trafficking cases had prior criminal records, and they were prone to recidivism. The Megan’s Law Registry has proven to be a deterrent to subsequent sexual offenses committed by those who are on it. It’s time to apply that deterrent to all convicted sex traffickers.”
Senate Bill 136 would enhance efforts being taken nationally and internationally to combat sex trafficking. The National Sex Offender Public Registry and the International Megan’s Law link state sex offender registries with those of other countries in order to monitor the whereabouts of sexual offenders — specifically human traffickers.
“For offenses that occur within Pennsylvania, only individuals convicted of the sex trafficking minors can be found through these national and international networks,” Ward said. “This bill would enable law enforcement globally to track those who sex traffic adults and reduce the number of victims of these horrific crimes.”
Senate Bill 136 was sent to the full Senate for consideration.
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