After earning unanimous approval in the Senate on Tuesday, two proposals authored by Sen. Dan Newberry to combat the crime of human trafficking will now advance to the governor.
Senate Bill 1433 would guarantee that persons convicted of human trafficking serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. Under Senate Bill 1431, the provisions of the Sex Offender Registration Act will apply to people convicted of human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Both measures are sponsored by Rep. Pam Peterson.
“Oklahoma’s status as a commercial crossroads has made human trafficking a pressing problem for law enforcement,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa. “This is a crime that disproportionately targets children and vulnerable adults, often for the purpose of sexual exploitation. We must continue doing everything in our power to give law enforcement and prosecutors the tools to combat trafficking and hand down adequate punishment.”
Human trafficking is one of the most rapidly growing criminal enterprises in the United States. In a high profile case last fall, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics’ Human Trafficking Unit arrested 42 people in a sting on a trafficking ring in the Tulsa area.
“These ideas came from a recent Nevada human trafficking law that went into effect last year,” said Peterson, R-Tulsa. “It’s important to improve our laws and toughen our penalties to discourage these heinous crimes and better protect our most vulnerable citizens.”