California’s Anti-Child Trafficking Bill Scores Major Victory

As evidenced by the bitter backlash to the surprise hit film “Sound of Freedom,” it appears that many on the left are not particularly interested in holding the perpetrators of child sex trafficking accountable.

The movie was based on the actions of a former federal agent who took it upon himself to root out trafficking operations and save young victims of the heinous crime, but critics claimed that the issue had been blown out of proportion by far-right extremists.

There have been efforts across the nation to crack down on child trafficking, however, including in California. Despite initial pushback from the state’s overwhelming Democratic majority, one such bill finally made some progress in the Assembly this week.

According to reports, Senate Bill 14, which was introduced by Republican state Sen. Shannon Grove and seeks to increase the severity of child sex trafficking charges, passed unanimously through the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Monday.

As Grove said in response to the news: “We are one step closer to making the horrific crime of child sex trafficking a serious felony. SB 14 will increase jail time for repeat offenders who sell children for sex and commit the most heinous acts on our children.”

The original bill was revised by the Assembly, so now it must go back to the Senate for approval before it can advance further.

As written, the legislation would increase trafficking to a “srikable” count, meaning that repeat offenders would be eligible for longer prison sentences — including life behind bars — upon conviction. The lower chamber’s version clarified that trafficking victims who are forced to aid their captors do not face charges themselves.

Its ultimate enactment remains uncertain, but this week’s progress marks a major victory for the bill’s proponents. In five previous attempts, it had been struck down by Democrats on the committee.

In July, Grove issued a statement denouncing the effort to block the bill.

“After passing the Senate with a unanimous, bipartisan vote, I had hoped Democrats on the Assembly Public Safety Committee, led by Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer, would agree to make sex trafficking of a minor a serious felony,” she said at the time. “I am profoundly disappointed that committee Democrats couldn’t bring themselves to support the bill, with their stubborn and misguided objection to any penalty increase regardless of how heinous the crime.”

If the Senate approves the bill as written, it will be sent to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has indirectly signaled support for the bill.

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