Proposal increases penalties for human, sex trafficking

Rosa Rebimbas

Rosa Rebimbas

HARTFORD — The state legislature has proposed increased penalties for those convicted of human or sex trafficking.

H.B. 5666, An Act Concerning the Forfeiture of Moneys and Property Derived from Human or Sex Trafficking, would authorize the forfeiture of money and property used in or obtained or derived from the commission of crimes involving human and sex trafficking. The bill is in the Judiciary Committee.

Currently, state law provides for forfeiture of money and property for certain violations and this law would expand those to include sex trafficking.

“We need to protect the women and men who unfortunately get caught up, or are forced, into human or sex trafficking,” said state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) in a statement. “The changes this legislation will put in place will strongly penalize those responsible for heinous abuses against innocent victims who, through no fault of their own, get caught up, or are forced into the vicious cycle of sex work or the modern day slavery of human trafficking.”

Every single female member of the legislature, from both sides of the aisle, has joined forces to co-sponsor the legislation, according to a release issued by Rebimbas’ office.

“We’re pleased to see such broad support for a bill that will punish and deter traffickers,” said Alicia Kinsman, director of victim services for the International Institute of Connecticut, in a statement.

A press conference has been scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building, where experts in trafficking will give their support for the bill’s passage.

“The criminals who perpetuate such horrendous crimes as forcing people into the sex trade or modern day slavery must be penalized to the strongest possible extent,” Rebimbas said in a statement. “They must be held responsible for their actions and this legislation aims to remove the financial gain aspect of their offenses and penalize them where it would most impact them.”