Assemblyman Donnelly announced today his support for Proposition 35, the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act. Prop. 35 will increase the penalties for, and insert other protections against, human trafficking, a horrific crime that is plaguing our state.
"Human Trafficking is modern slavery that exists in every part of the world today, including California. Every one of us living free today has a duty to do all we can to break the chains of this evil trade in abuse and exploitation. No one should be forced to sell him or her self. Trafficking is not only a crime against personal liberty, but is intimately linked with physical, mental and substance abuse.The Legislature has failed to approve the many critical measures against this crime that are now contained in the CASE Act. It is encouraging to see people standing up, despite their representatives' inaction.
Human sex trafficking, which has become synonymous with forced prostitution, affects men, women and children, taking in its victims at an average age of thirteen - well below the legal age of consent.
"Young lives will be saved and spared following implementation of the CASE Act. The thought of a child enslaved, forced to sell their body for the profit of another should sicken us all. I believe if we fail to address this exploitation now, we are no more civilized than those who stood silent while millions of fellow men, women and children stood in shackles.
"We cannot fail to protect the most basic God-given liberties for the most vulnerable among us. We cannot fail at our duty to protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is the primary purpose of government. Now is the time to step forward and I am grateful to take this step in endorsing the CASE Act."
Assemblyman Donnelly has introduced Assembly Bill 996 to require sex traffickers to register as sex offenders, AB 1306 to create an intervention point where a medical practitioner could identify the individual's duress, and AB 1571 to increase penalties for human traffickers. All three bills failed in the Legislature. Similar provisions exist within the CASE Act, which will be voted on November 6, 2012.