State prosecutors struggle with human trafficking cases

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BOSTON (AP) - Human trafficking convictions at the state level are notoriously elusive, despite crackdown laws that are on the books in all 50 states.

Officials and experts say there's a need for more resources to support trafficking victims, educate the public and train law enforcement.

In about a dozen states, attorneys general are not even authorized to pursue human trafficking charges.

Records requested from all 50 states by The Associated Press indicate a low conviction rate for human trafficking crimes since 2003.

A previous study suggested a 45% conviction rate through roughly the first decade of the laws.

Data shows the conviction rate for federal prosecutions is much higher, at about 80%.

Observers say the Florida massage parlor sting that snared New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft highlights the difficulties with such cases.