Bill requiring Megan’s Law registry for sex traffickers overdue
Legislation has been introduced in the state Senate that would require offenders convicted of any sex trafficking-related offenses to register with the Megan’s Law sex offender registry.
The bill would amend the existing law to classify the convictions relating to human trafficking in the following way:
• Trafficking individuals would be classified as a sexual offense requiring 15 years on the registry.
• Sexual servitude involved in trafficking would require 25 years on the registry.
• Patronizing a victim of sexual servitude would be classified as a sexual offense requiring 15 years on the registry.
This is no-brainer legislation. In fact, our first thought would be to wonder why this hasn’t already been done.
Pennsylvania had the seventh-highest rate of human trafficking reports in 2017. This is not just some occasional nightmare that happens and goes away. It’s real, it’s devastating. It stains the life experience of victims forever.
And, judging from Pennsylvania’s dubious standing, this is not something that happens mainly in states at our southern border.
What’s more, dangerous people are involved in this trafficking. According to the U.S. Department of Justice report for 2017, most defendants in the FBI’s human trafficking cases had prior criminal records and were prone to recidivism.
The legislative action can’t occur fast enough.