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Federal Child Trafficking Laws – Virginia

Federal Child Trafficking Laws – Virginia

Estimated as a $9.5 billion-a-year industry, human trafficking is on the rise and has been reported in all 50 states. The Internet has become the new marketplace for trading in children. With use of websites such as CraigsList, BackPage, etc., the child sex industry is growing because of its believed anonymity, safety, low cost of use, and ease to set up appointments and transactions. The U.S. government spends millions of dollars year to fight trafficking, and Federal and State agencies are cracking down on child sex trafficking in the U.S., including prostitution, pornography, and sexual performance, by better identifying traffickers, and attaching stiff penalties to new laws.

Federal Child Trafficking Laws

Federal Child Trafficking Laws

PENALTY: A Possible Life Sentence

Under Federal Law, U.S.C. Section 18 2252A, a single offense for Child Trafficking carries a statutory, mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years to life. Additionally, there could be the seizure of real property, vehicles, and monetary assets.

WHAT IS CHILD TRAFFICKING?

Child Trafficking is a type of kidnapping or abduction that involves the unwilling abduction of children with the intention of conducting the illegal sale, and/or exploitation of the child. It can result in human slavery, child prostitution, or other additional avenues of exploitation. While “human trafficking” is considered to be catchall term, statistics state that over 50% of the victims of Human Trafficking are children under the age of 18.

18 U.S.C. § 2251A – Selling or Buying of Children:

A parent or legal guardian of a minor commits an offense if, providing the circumstances in Subsection (c) exist, sells custody of such minor either:

  1. Knowing that as a consequence of sale, the minor will be portrayed in a visual depiction engaging in sexually explicit conduct, OR
  2. Intending to promote the minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.

This offense shall be punished by fine and imprisonment of not less than 30 years.

A person commits an offense if, providing the circumstances in Subsection (c) exist, purchases custody of such minor either:

  1. Knowing that as a consequence of purchase, the minor will be portrayed in a visual depiction engaging in sexually explicit conduct, OR
  2. Intending to promote the minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct.

This offense shall be punished by fine and imprisonment of not less than 30 years.

Subsection (c) – Scenario described above involved:

  1. The minor traveling in interstate commerce,
  2. The offer to buy or sell the minor being communicated through interstate commerce by any means, OR
  3. The conduct described taking place in territory of the United States.

NOTE:

There is no Requirement to prove that Force or Coercion was used.

FBI INVESTIGATION:

The sex trafficking of children in U.S. is a top investigative priority of the FBI. During 2012 fiscal year, the FBI opened 306 human trafficking investigations around the nation involving forced labor or forced household service, and sex trafficking of international victims, (young and old), and adult U.S. citizen victims, as well as 363 investigations of domestic child trafficking. 500 minors involved in sex trafficking were located. The FBI participates in 88 human trafficking task forces and working groups around the country.

SITUATIONS CAUSING SUSPICION OF CHILD TRAFFICKING ACTIVITY:

Most Child Trafficking investigations start at the local level, and local or State law enforcement officers may believe they have detected a child sex trafficking situation when they deal with situations involving:
Homeless or runaway juveniles;
Criminal gang activity;
Crimes involving immigrant children;
Domestic violence calls;
Investigations at truck stops, motels, massage parlors, spas, and strip clubs.

Local Officers are trained to be suspicious, even if the details seem trivial, when responding to certain call types, such as reports of heavy foot traffic in and out of a house, assaults, domestic situations, verbal disputes, or thefts. It is believed that these situations could involve a child trafficking victim being abused or disciplined by a trafficker, a customer having a dispute with a victim, or a client who had money taken during a sex act. Truck stops, strip clubs, massage parlors, and cheap motels, are also believed to be haborers of children forced into sex trafficking.
Investigators also monitor web sites that advertise for dating and hooking up. They are believed to be common sites used by child sex traffickers for advertising. Surveillance at motels, truck stops, strip clubs, and massage parlors is also heavily performed to see if the girls (or boys) arrive alone. Youthful appearing persons being transported to these locations could raise concerns of child trafficking.

OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES THAT COULD RAISE SUSPICIONS OF CHILD TRAFFICKING ACTIVITY:

People who live on, or work near, types of premises described above;
A living space with a large number of young occupants;
Young people living in situations involving a lacking private space, or personal possessions;
A young person living in a community with limited knowledge about how to get around.

It is clear that the consequences of a federal sex crime conviction are extremely serious. Have you have you been charged, or fear you could be charged with a federal child trafficking crime in Virginia and need a lawyer to negotiate and defend you?

Are you concerned about the consequences of being charged in a Federal Sex crime in Virginia?

For a lot of our clients, being charged with a Federal Sex Crime in Virginia can result in the loss of their job, their security clearance or even their immigration status.

Don’t risk speaking with authorities or going to court without a lawyer, if you have been charged, or fear you may be charged, contact our law firm for help and speak with a lawyer today.

We have client meeting locations in Fairfax, Prince William County, Richmond, Loudon County, Virginia Beach, Fredericksburg, and Lynchburg.

We will do our absolute best to help you through this difficult and stressful time. Fortunately, we are experienced, tough, and highly-skilled sex crime lawyers.

Article contributed by Kimberly Bolinskey
Sris Law Group
1-434-509-4004

Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

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