Home>Articles>Bill To List Human Trafficking Under Three Strikes Law Passes Senate Committee

Senator Shannon Grove gives speech on April 25, 2023 (Photo: sen.ca.gov)

Bill To List Human Trafficking Under Three Strikes Law Passes Senate Committee

California consistently ranks number one in the nation in the number of human trafficking cases

By Evan Symon, April 25, 2023 5:54 pm

A bill to include human trafficking in the listing of crimes defined as “serious” under California law, making the crime a strike under the Three Strikes law, was passed by a unanimous vote in the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 14, by Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), would specifically include human trafficking within the definition of a serious felony for all purposes, including for purposes of the California Three Strikes Law. As a result, SB 14 makes those convicted of this crime subject to the same penalties that apply to all serious crimes.

Senator Grove authored SB 14 given California’s very serious problem of human trafficking. Currently human trafficking is defined as a non-serious crime in California, which means the act of human trafficking cannot be considered a strike under California’s Three Strikes law. As it is not impeded due to more punishable laws, California consistently ranks number one in the nation in the number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. In addition, minors as young as 11 are exploited this way, with many victims suffering long-term physical and psychological trauma as a result.

Since it was first introduced in December of last year, SB 14 has quickly gained bipartisan support. In addition to over two dozen co-authors from both parties, the bill has received support from District Attorney offices across the state, dozens of human trafficking assistance programs, police and Sheriff’s Departments, and multiple California cities. High profile human trafficking victims, such as Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped and held captive in Utah for nine months in 2002 and 2003, have also come out in support of the bill.

“This bill should be passed into law without hesitation,” said Smart earlier this year. “Too many victims fear coming forward and speaking out for fear of their traffickers repercussions. Too often we are restricted in our efforts to serve justice, and far too often victims and survivors never even glimpse justice. Trafficking is heinous and brutal – a crime thankfully many of us will never experience. This is a small step we can take to begin protecting our survivors and procure some small modicum of justice.”

SB 14 passed in unanimous 5-0 vote

With so much support for SB 14 coming in, the bill was quickly approved by the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday, passing with a unanimous 5-0 vote. Following the vote, Senator Grove remarked in a press conference that “SB 14 will help strengthen protections for the thousands of minor victims who are sex trafficked and will serve as a deterrent for those who engage in this horrendous crime. While I am thankful that my legislation passed out of Senate Public Safety and will protect countless children who are trafficked, I remain committed to continuing to fight for survivors and victims of all ages.”

Sources at the Capitol told to the Globe that the bill would almost certainly be made a law by September due to how much support SB 14 has and because of how non-controversial it is.

“It wants to punish human traffickers even more,” said “Dana,” a Capitol staffer, to the Globe Tuesday. “Even those people pulling for more progressive policing and laws are on the side of SB 14. No lawmaker here wants to be known as the person who voted against human trafficking being a felony. Every year we get bills that morally, lawfully, and fiscally make sense, where it’s pretty much impossible not to vote in favor of them. SB 14 is one of them. It’s that important, and you’re going to see this one just rocket through both houses and be signed by Newsom.”

SB 14 is to be heard next soon in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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3 thoughts on “Bill To List Human Trafficking Under Three Strikes Law Passes Senate Committee

  1. 5/5/23

    The Honorable Governor Gavin Newsom
    1021 O Street, Suite 9000
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Dear Representative Newsom,
    My name is Savannah Molinet and I reside at 1421 Fenmore Ave in the city of Sanger, California. I’m in 8th grade and attend Sanger Academy Charter School. In order to provide a safe environment for children and our community is if you sign SB 14 requesting it into the California Three Strikes Law. By doing this there would be justice for those who have been affected. It will also bring awareness to predators and convict them for their crimes. Human trafficking is known as a “non-serious crime”, but people of all ages who are survivor victims of human trafficking still have to deal with what they’ve gone through and by saying human trafficking is not serious indicates that predators can do whatever they want because they know there’s no punishment. I appreciate your contribution to our city and in hopes that you will consider passing this SB 14 Bill which would protect the youth and adults. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Savannah Molinet

  2. In the human trafficking They have a true strict laws I went to California, and if something past it became a law and human trafficking Now is very serious and can affect peoples lives a very lot And there are hotlines communities that you can call and get help if you are going through human trafficking And SB 14 bill is something that could help young kids and adults.

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