An Act To Assist Victims of Human Trafficking
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §4702 is enacted to read:
§ 4702. Trafficking Prevention and Intervention Fund
Sec. 2. 15 MRSA §2161-B is enacted to read:
§ 2161-B. Petition for pardon by victim of human trafficking offense
If a person is convicted of a crime and the person engaged in the conduct constituting the crime as a direct result of being a victim of a human trafficking offense as defined in Title 5, section 4701, subsection 1, paragraph C, the person may file a petition seeking a pardon immediately upon the imposition of the sentence, even if an appeal is taken. This section does not apply to a person whose conduct includes the use of deadly force as defined in Title 17-A, section 2, subsection 8, nondeadly force as defined in Title 17-A, section 2, subsection 18 or a dangerous weapon as defined in Title 17-A, section 2, subsection 9, paragraph A.
Sec. 3. 17-A MRSA §103-A, sub-§4 is enacted to read:
This bill proposes to assist victims of human trafficking in 3 ways.
First, it creates a defense for a person charged with engaging in prostitution if the person proves that the person was compelled to do so as described in the law that describes aggravated sex trafficking.
Second, it creates the Trafficking Prevention and Intervention Fund to support state and local efforts to reduce human trafficking offenses, including sex trafficking. At least half the funds must be spent on prevention, including education programs for offenders, and rehabilitation services, such as mental health and substance abuse counseling, parenting skills training, housing relief, education, vocational training, drop-in centers and employment counseling, to help individuals transition out of the commercial sex industry. The Department of the Attorney General, Victims' Compensation Board is required to administer the fund. The fund is funded through an assessment imposed on persons convicted of certain sex crimes and may receive private donations and federal and state funds.
Third, it authorizes a person to file a petition seeking a pardon immediately upon the imposition of a sentence for a crime if the person engaged in the conduct constituting the crime as a direct result of being a victim of a human trafficking offense.