Colorado Senate Approves Stricter Punishments for Human Trafficking with New Bill

On Friday, March 1, the Colorado State Senate enacted Senate Bill 24-035, which enhances the penalty for human trafficking offenses.

The measure redefines human trafficking offenses as “crimes of violence.” It also increases the statute of limitations from 5 to 20 years but does not change the infinite statute of limitations for human trafficking and sexual servitude of a juvenile.

Senator Byron Pelton (R), Senator Rhonda Fields (D), and Representative Ty Winter (R) have all co-sponsored the bill. During the bill’s committee hearing, numerous human trafficking survivors shared their tales and expressed their support. The bill passed 33-1.

“For too long human traffickers have been evading justice thanks in part to our state’s soft-on-crime human trafficking laws,” Byron Pelton, a state senator, stated.

“It is an insult to victims and their families to deny them the justice they deserve; this bill is long overdue. By increasing the sanctions and lengthening the statute of limitations, we are sending a clear message to human traffickers: God’s children are not for sale!”

According to the Colorado Senate Republicans’ website, the conviction rate for human trafficking is “notoriously low,” and politicians in the Capitol have been working to reform human trafficking legislation for several years.

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