Proposition 35 and Human Sex Trafficking

On November 6, California voters can launch the single largest movement against human trafficking in our country and pass the toughest anti-human trafficking law in the United States by voting YES on Proposition 35. We will deliver a firm statement to traffickers around the world that we take slavery seriously and care about those in bondage.

 

Human trafficking, the modern day equivalent of slavery, became an American legislative priority when President Bush signed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000. Human trafficking, which includes labor and sex trafficking, is acknowledged as the second most profitable international criminal enterprise after drug smuggling. Victims of human trafficking are forced or coerced to work or commit sexual acts by violent criminals who strip them of their dignity and their freedom.

The TVPA was based on the theory that the United States is a destination country for human trafficking. However, original TVPA estimates of 50,000 women and children trafficked into the United States annually have since been downgraded to 14,500-17,500 per year, so initial estimates were reduced by more than two-thirds after the legislation was signed into law. The direction of the TVPA, which agencies would administer it, and which populations would be targeted were based upon seriously flawed data.

 

The Federal definition of sex trafficking includes when, “a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age.” It is very simple: according to Federal law, children can never consent to prostitution, it is always exploitation. A person who has not attained 18 years of age and is induced to perform a commercial sex act is then a victim of human sex trafficking. Therefore, all underage youth who are involved in prostitution, and who are under the influence of a pimp, are by definition, victims of human sex trafficking.”

 

Between 1.6 and 2.8 million children run away annually in the U.S., half of which are girls. Within 48 hours of hitting the streets, one third of these children are lured or recruited into the underground world of prostitution or pornography.  The average age at which girls first become victims of prostitution is 12-14.  For boys, the entry age is 11-13.

 

These harrowing statistics provides broad justification for a growing focus upon the domestic side of this issue, because the statistics conclusively demonstrate that the USA is a source country as well as a destination country for Human Sex Trafficking. Unfortunately, the vast majority of resources unleashed by the TVPA are still globally directed. This is why Prop 35 is so important to California’s future.

 

In addition, current California law is inadequate to deal with the realities of human trafficking in our state. The California Trafficking Victims Protection Act (CTVPA), passed in 2005, established human trafficking for forced labor or services as a felony crime punishable by a sentence of 3, 4 or 5 years in state prison and a sentence of 4, 6 or 8 years for trafficking of a minor. Incredibly, according to California law, there is no stated penalty for sex trafficking of a minor without force. The CTVPA was written when domestic human trafficking was viewed as a crime impacting mainly foreign nationals brought into this country. It overlooked thousands of American minors and adults who were also exploited.

Proposition 35 will eliminate barriers to prosecute child sex traffickers by removing the requirement to prove “force, fraud or coercion” of a minor trafficking victim. Prop 35 will deter traffickers in California with higher penalties and fines, use fines to fund victim services, mandate training for law enforcement officers, require convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders, require all sex offenders to disclose Internet accounts, and protect victims in court proceedings.

 

The choice is clear. On November 6, California voters can draw a line in the sand and stand up for domestic victims of human sex trafficking, or we can continue a status quo approach that criminalizes young victims as it celebrates some of the most heinous criminals in our midst: human sex traffickers. I am going to vote Yes on Prop 35, because to turn our backs on the tens of thousands of children being trafficked in California is simply another form of victimization.

13 thoughts on “Proposition 35 and Human Sex Trafficking

  1. If anyone has information on the domestic abuse incidents by Thomas Hodges on his wife Julia in Savannah, GA during the time period of February, March and April of 2010, prior to the charges and disciplinary action against Thomas. I would also like more info on exactly what disciplinary actions were taken by the Military and if protocol was followed. If you have any information please contact me at kellymcelwain@ymail.com

    • You will find that he was charged with disorderly conduct. There was no evidence of abuse except for what she did to herself. There is a long history of false charges she has reported, they know her well. The commander of the base is no longer there but he and I chatted for an hour on why my son wasn’t able to go to MT to save his son when the mother was arrested on felony bad check charges. Within a week Darby was dead. When my son did finally get an honorable discharge due to hardship he found out his daughter was beat to death on the ride home from the Airport. THe person who informed him of this death was Darby and Kiera’s older brother’s father. Why don’t you ask him what he thinks of my son, Kiera’s father and the mother. I assure you they know the character of the so called mother. On Darby’s autopsy you will see it is a certified document and you will also see on the second page the numerous contusions and abrasions in brown, yellow and red. Please if you are friends with this woman be cautious. Ask a trusted friend to evaluate her as a friend, a mother and as a human. A thouough screening will find she comes up very short on all of these requirements of a friend and a citizen. This is my last post. Please beware and learn from this relationship you are building on a shaky corroded foundation.

    • In fact there were no charges filed at all on Thomas Hodges in this matter. There was an Army Criminal Investigation of all of the incidents and Julia’s as well as both children’s medical records were included and the investigation concluded “A great deal of Thomas Hodges claims were corroborated”. The Dr Phil show aired the story on May 5 and 6 of 2014 and the results of the show not only show Thomas as a caring father but reveal the many lies and show the evidence of abuse, neglect and conspiracy of Julia, her boyfriend now husband codey and his mother cyndi in whose house Kiera was living when she died of blunt force trauma. Cyndi, a mandated reporter whose job ironically is social work placing children in foster care. The investigations still continue…

  2. I am the grandmother of Darby Hodges and his sister Kiera Pulaski. Darby died under suspicious circumstances with many injuries. Two and a half months later his sister Kiera died of a head injury. SHe also had choke marks around her neck nd cigarette burns. The “mother” responsible and her boyfriend won’t cooperate with the authorities. Her grandmother is a well known “Christian ” writer with many published books who flew to Montana from Utah and told them not to say anything. I have this in a message from her cousin. The two responsible won’t talk. We were afraid this may happen from the mother’s Munchhausen behavior through many years. My son was in Haiti when this all started. Please help if you can. It’s a great story if someone will just help us. Thank you, Grandmother Cheryl Hodges.

    • Cheryl Hodges, I can’t believe that you are allowed to spread lies like this. These cases have been investigated and it was found that the mother and her boyfriend were not responsible for abuse nor murder. Interestingly enough, it was found that Thomas Hodges was arrested and cgarged in Georgia for domestic violence against the mother. The autopsies do not say there were cigarette burns or choke marks. Det Overman told you that there wil be no charges and you need to live with that. If spreading lies and hate is your way of living with this, then maybe you should seek help before you get yourself in trouble.

      • If anyone has any information on the death of Kiera Pulaski on the night of Sept. 17, 2010 in Republic MO or the death of Darby Hodges on June 27, 2010 in Kalispell MT here are the detectives to contact: Darby’s case’s current detective is Doug Overman KPD Kalispell MT 406-253-4633 Kiera’s cases detective is Mark Wilcox RPD Republic MO 417-732-3900 Mike DeShields with Missing and Exploited Children In Washington D.C. (Area) is: 877-446-2632 ext. 6210

      • You must be a friend of these murderers. The cases are still under investigation and the mother and step father have not been cleared yet. The autopsy reports do show trauma, burns, and broken bones and bruises. You ought to be ashamed of yourself for sticking up for these people that abused these poor babies.

          • Dear Mr. Klaas,
            I think she was addressing the Mark above not you (Marc). You are wonderful and I have seen you many times on HLN, Nancy Grace and many other shows. God bless you for your work.

      • Dear Mark, the investigation is still open. They didn’t find anything.Dr. Phil had one of the most prolific pathologists in the world examine the autopsy and he confirmed that it looked like cigarette burns on the body. I think he would know more than you or your podunk town’s pathologist, don’t you? He also confirmed the choke marks. I think it is deplorable that you would attack a victim’s grandmother, calling her a liar. You can call Dr. Phil and his esteemed team of doctors to call them a liar and leave this poor lady alone. Speaking of liars, both the mother (I use that term loosely) and the stepfather both refused to take lie detector tests offered by Dr. Phil’s, ex-FBI polygrapher. and they both refused. The polygrapher explained that not one parent, in the 1,000’s of tests he had administered, had ever refused before except these so called parents. Interesting fact, huh? This case has nothing to do with a domestic violence charge, or lack of, years ago. This is about the murder of two innocent children. I think it is you who needs the mental help and years of it. You are in denial.

  3. Life in prison is not long enough for these people…never mind fines and higher sentences…..rapists, kidnappers and sex traffickers ALL deserve life in prison…This country is just to easy on the these types of crimes…yet we send some poor kid from Texas to jail for ten years for having some pot……and these types of criminals know it!!!

  4. i beleive in all your doing. I hope by now you ahve reached out to heather and drew collins in EvansDale Iowa… i pray thishass not happend to the two cousins.. Im fighting for new laws in Iowa also.
    hence the cousins law. change.org//cousinlaw.
    if you could look at this i will be workign on hotspots of human trafficing in this law…

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