Questions About Human Trafficking and Sex Trafficking Louisiana
What is Human Trafficking?
The statute for Human Trafficking in Louisiana may be found at La.R.S. 14:46.2.
Contrary to popular belief, under Louisiana law, Human Trafficking is not defined as sex slavery or forced prostitution. It seems as if, that is how human trafficking is always portrayed in the movies. In the most basic terms human trafficking in Louisiana is when a person knowingly recruited, harbored, transported, solicited or maintained another person through fraud, deceit or force to provide labor. This also includes people who knowingly benefit and facilitate the trafficking of another person for labor. The facilitation of human trafficking includes, but is not limited to, aiding, abetting and conspiring to traffick another person. A person may be found guilty of human trafficking even if they received nothing of value for such activities.
Note: The key word in this statute in “knowingly.” The state has be burden of proving that the defendant knew that Human Trafficking was occurring.
What is Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes?
The statute for Sex Trafficking of Children may be found at La.R.S. 14:46.3.
Sex trafficking of children is to knowingly recruit, transport, sell, purchase or maintain anyone under the age of 18 years of age for the purpose of engaging commercial sexual activity. Anyone who advertises, benefits or facilitates such activity in any manner may also be guilty of sex trafficking of children. It is further illegal under this statute for any parent or legal guardian of a person under the age of 18 years to knowingly permit or consent to the minor’s engagement in commercial sexual activity.
Consent of the minor shall not be a defense to a prosecution and lack of knowledge of the victim’s age shall not be a defense to a prosecution.
What are the penalties for these offenses?
Anyone who is convicted of Human Trafficking under La R.S. 14:46.2(B)(2) and Human Trafficking of Children under La R.S. 14:46.2(B)(3) shall register as a Sex Offender for 25 years, to be conducted semi-annually.
Anyone who is convicted of Trafficking of Children for Sex under La R.S. 14.46.3 (under age 14) shall register as a Sex Offender for life, to be conducted quarterly.
Whoever commits the crime of human trafficking when the services include commercial sexual activity or any sexual conduct constituting a crime under the laws of this state shall be fined not more than $15,000 and shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not more than 20 years.
Whoever commits the crime of human trafficking when the trafficking involves a person under the age of 18 shall be fined not more than $25,000 and shall be imprisoned at hard labor for 5 to 25 years, 5 years of which shall be without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
Whoever violates this statute when the victim is under the age of 14 years shall be fined not more than $27,000 and imprisoned at hard labor for 25 to 50 years. At least 25 years of the sentence imposed shall be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
The penalties call for a fine of up to $50,000, 15 to 50 years in jail or both. If the victim is under 14, the penalties are a maximum fine of $75,000 and a jail sentence of 25 to 50 years.
Human Trafficking is considered a Crime of Violence in Louisiana.
What else should I know if I have been arrested for human trafficking in New Orleans?
The law provides that any personal property used in the commission of the trafficking may be seized and impounded, and after conviction, sold at public sale or public auction by the district attorney. This includes any computers, vehicles, cell phones, etc…
What about legal representation?
This type of crime is aggressively investigated and prosecuted by the district attorney’s office, and the choice of attorney will be one of the most important decisions to make. Attorney Elizabeth B. Carpenter is dedicated to providing her clients with a high level of guidance and legal advocacy they deserve.
Ms. Carpenter has also represented many victims of Human Trafficking.