Sex Trafficking bill unanimously approved in legislature - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Sex Trafficking bill unanimously approved in legislature

Sex Trafficking bill unanimously approved in legislature

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Nebraska is tightening regulations when it comes to sex trafficking.

Lawmakers voted to unanimously pass a bill increasing penalties for traffickers on Tuesday.

“We know Trafficking occurs at Berkshire days, at Husker games and at the College World Series,” Senator Patty Pansing Brooks, who worked with Attorney General Doug Peterson to sponsor the bill, said.

Pansing Brooks held a press conference after the Legislature’s final reading Tuesday.

"Trafficking isn't just an urban problem,” Traci Bruckner, who spoke on behalf of the the Women’s Fund of Omaha, said. “It isn't just an along the interstate problem either, it is happening in every community across our state."

Nebraska is known for being a dumping spot for trafficking because of the current lack of criminal punishment.

Peterson says the state has been given a near failing grade for those repercussions in the past.

"At a minimum, it will send a message to traffickers in Chicago who run a Midwest circuit, or in Denver or Minneapolis or St. Louis that business is going to get much more difficult in Nebraska," Peterson said.

The biggest change will come when minors are involved.

Recent studies show the average age a person becomes a trafficking victim is 13.

Under current law, convicted offenders can walk away with probation for trafficking a minor.

With this new bill, a trafficker will face a minimum of 20 years and maximum of life behind bars.

"For people to utilize children in this age of sex trafficking, they're getting younger and younger to allow that is completely intolerable," Peterson said.

The bill still has to be signed into law by Governor Ricketts.

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