Tougher penalties for gang members convicted of human trafficking

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to support and co-sponsor legislation that would add pimping, pandering, and human trafficking to the list of crimes that are associated with gang activity.

“Untold numbers of children fall victim to predatory adults, many of whom have ties to criminal street gangs,” said Supervisor Knabe. “They are sexually exploited and abused in unspeakably brutal ways, all for commercial gain. Criminal street gangs have embraced human trafficking as a lucrative revenue source; as sex trafficking now rivals narcotic sales as the major source of revenue for many gangs.”

Senate Bill 473, authored by Senator Marty Block and sponsored by San Diego County would create tougher penalties for gang members convicted of human trafficking, including adding a three-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of a human trafficking crime that occurs on or within 1,000 feet of a school.

“This legislation would be a major step forward in putting an end to the physical and mental abuse of these young girls,” said Knabe.

To learn more about sex trafficking in Los Angeles County, view the video below. (video starts after about five seconds)