McNamara's bill creating harsher punishments for human traffickers passes Senate

Posted by: Jessica Baker  | Tuesday, March 1, 2016

STATEHOUSE (March 1, 2016) – The Indiana Senate passed State Rep. Wendy McNamara’s (R-Evansville) bill that would add the crime of promotion of human trafficking of a minor to the definitions of “sex offender” and “sex or violent offender” to the Indiana Code.

“Approximately one human trafficking investigation is opened every month in Indiana,” McNamara said. “This is not an issue that is just occurring overseas or in other states, it is happening in Hoosier communities. We need to address this crime by implementing stricter penalties on those who not only directly participate and profit from human trafficking, but those who promote it as well.”

If enacted, House Bill (HB) 1199 would require an individual found guilty of promoting the trafficking of a minor to register as a sex offender on the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry. After serving their sentence, offenders would be placed in either a community transition program, a community corrections program or probation. The Indiana Department of Correction and police officers across the state monitor the database, which allows them to track these offenders and ensure they are not continuing to promote human trafficking after they are released.

“We have enacted laws in recent years to define and penalize traffickers, but because these laws were passed after the implementation of the Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry, human trafficking is not on the list of crimes requiring an individual to register,” McNamara said.

HB 1199 will now be sent to Gov. Mike Pence where it could be signed into law.

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Rep. McNamara (R-Evansville) represents portions of Posey and Vanderburgh counties.