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

Senator Shannon Grove. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

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

‘It’s one of those perfect storm bills that is focused on only doing good, has unanimous support for it, and doesn’t cost anything’

By Evan Symon, May 26, 2023 4:52 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 on Thursday, 40-0.

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 2022, 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 Attorneys 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.

With the bill supported by Democrats and Republicans, few opposed it. Last month, the bill passed unanimously in the Senate Public Safety Committee. This was followed by another unanimous vote earlier this month, this time in the Appropriations Committee. Finally, on Thursday, before the entire Senate, it passed 40-0, one of the few bills to get a completely unanimous vote.

“It’s hard to believe that selling a human being over and over again is not considered a serious crime in California,” said Senator Grove in a statement on Thursday. “Senate Bill 14 will protect countless children who are being trafficked and prevent this horrific crime from happening. This bill is one of the missing pieces that is needed in order to address one of the most lucrative crimes in the world that is happening in communities across our state.”

Those familiar with the bill believed that SB 14 is all but certain to be signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in September given what the bill will do, and because of its popularity.

“I mean, how can anyone vote against SB 14,” explained  Dana, a Capitol staffer, to the Globe on Friday. “It’s one of those perfect storm bills that is focused on only doing good, has unanimous support for it, and doesn’t cost anything. It’s becoming more rare nowadays, but having a bill that both sides of the aisle agree on that genuinely helps the Californian people is one that should be treasured. And SB 14 is one of those.”

SB 14 is to next go before the  Assembly Public Safety Committee in the coming weeks.

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Evan Symon
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5 thoughts on “Bill To List Human Trafficking Under Three Strikes Law Unanimously Passes Senate

  1. How about 1 strike and you are out? Slavers deserve life (or perhaps death).

    Given that Demonrats are the party of slavery don’t expect much from them.

  2. I thought three strikes was just another ignored law. And what happened to existing laws on human trafficking? Did we never have them?
    Another meaningless bangle on the shrub of just-us.

  3. Human trafficking is a umbrella of different methods victims are trafficked. I was raped at 17 by the dad of 4 children I babysat. How wife went to the hospital to have her tonsils out and that night unbeknownst to me he had been stalking and premeditated a violent and heinous rape. I begged for him to quit. The next day when his children were put down for a nap he came and took me upstairs to the master bedroom. I’m in shock and numb from the violent and evil act the night before. He gets undressed. Has me lay down next to him and explains the male genitalia. He then puts his hand on the back of my head, forces it down on to his penis, tells me to open my mouth and e plains what he wants me to do. Not only had my virginity been so violently ripped from me the night before but now I have my introduction into the vile act of oral sex. For two years up to this I was a victim of violent sexual assault multiple times a week from my older brother. My parents knew. I was 15 when he started. This violent rapist used my parents saying I had the least value and worth of the seven other siblings and my parents would remain silent. They did. I had to continue to go every weekend to babysit. My parents didn’t want me home. Friday after school until Sunday night. This violent rapist then would tell his wife he’d take me home. But we first had to go by his office. He would lay on his couch in his office after pulling his pants down exposing himself and force me to perform oral sex. This is human trafficking. “SILENT CRIME.” I was coerced into silence and submission. You don’t have to be sold to be human trafficked. Yes it’s “dehumanizing” which steals your value and worth as a human being. I will continue to tell my story which a forensic psychiatrist told me after a session 2 years ago that in all his years of interviewing victims of sexual violence he had never heard one like mine where I came from a family that were so evil and wicked. I am here to dismantle the lies and deceit where the predators are protected. Laws need to be so tough not only for predators but those who protect them to bring these most evil of all people to justice and all victims can seek justice and restitution. We the victims suffer a life sentence from the crime we were forced to endure and the collateral damage is irreparable.

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