State of Florida addresses Human Sex Trafficking with State Bill

By J. Timothy Gratz

Human sex trafficking is a nonconsensual sex act a) by an adult if procured by force, fraud or coercion; or b) any sex act achieved by a third party involving a minor. It has long been known that Florida ranks third in human sex trafficking (a dubious distinction for sure) and sex trafficking does occur in the Keys and in Key West (as dramatically confirmed by Heidi Golightly the primary mover behind Keys to be the Change).

Just one week ago Governor DeSantis signed into law a major and very important measure to fight sex trafficking in Florida. State Senator Lauren Book was a major supporter of the Senate version of the counterpart of the Senate Bill. (Sen Book is the founder of “Lauren’s Kids”, the organization that fights child abuse. Of course sex trafficking can be considered the ultimate form of child abuse.) Our own Holly Raschein was one of the co-sponsors in the House. The bill had strong bipartisan support.

Rep Raschein told Konk Life: “—–“

The Bill number was HB851 and Konk Life readers can read the text and summary on the Internet.

The new law requires the Department of Legal Affairs to establish a support organization to provide assistance, funding and support to the Statewide Council on Human Trafficking. It provides $250,000 in nonrecurring funds to implement this organization.

It requires the licensee or certificate holder of fourteen defined health care establishments to complete a one hour continuing education course on human trafficking.

It requires a public lodging establishment to provide annual training regarding trafficking awareness to certain employees within 60 days after a new employee begins employment (or by January 1, 2021 for existing employees).

It requires every certified law enforcement officer to complete four hours of training in identifying and investigating huam trafficking.

Requires certain entities to post (by January 1, 2121) in a conspicuous space in their place of work a sign that instructs an employee to call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (see last paragraph) if they observe suspected prostitution or human trafficking.

It imposes certain rigorous requirements on massage parlors (which are often used for sex trafficking).

It establishes the Soliciting for Prostitution Database and requires the clerk of every court to notify the Florida Department of Law Enforcement of every person found guilty or entering a plead of nolo contendere of soliciting, enticing or procuring another to commit prostitution, lewdness or assignation (some have called this “the pimp database”).

IF YOU SUSPECT POSSIBLE TRAFFICKING YOU CAN CALL, ANONYMOUSLY, 24 HOURS A DAY, THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE ADMINISTED BY THE POLARIS PROJECT (800-373-7888)