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Maine legislators hope to increase penalty for child sex trafficking

On a federal level, the minimum sentencing is 10 years.
Maine State House at Augusta, Maine
Maine State House at Augusta, Maine(WAGM)
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 4:43 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Lawmakers on the judiciary committee focused on the concerning issue of sex trafficking of children in Maine.

They addressed several bills today.

One works to combat sexual exploitation of minors and another increases the penalty for engaging in the sex trafficking of children.

Currently, the maximum sentence for aggravated sex trafficking of minors in Maine is 10 years in prison.

On a federal level, the minimum sentencing is 10 years.

Those in favor of the bill say Maine needs to strengthen its response and increase the penalty.

“We need to do everything we can to escape the evil that these children encounter so early on in their lives. Dirigo means I lead, and Maine is not leading with our policies towards sex trafficking and child exploitation. We can change our path,” said Rep. John Andrews.

One person was listed to testify against the bill to combat sexual exploitation of minors but was not present for today’s public hearing.

A third bill introduced today would support survivors of sex trafficking and exploitation.

It would change the law on the crime of prostitution by adding more lines of defense - including that a person engaged in prostitution to prevent bodily harm, serious injury, or threats to the person or someone else.

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