BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 694
          Author:   Bloom (D)
          Amended:  As introduced
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  7-0, 6/11/13
          AYES:  Hancock, Anderson, Block, De León, Knight, Liu, Steinberg

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  70-0, 5/16/13 (Consent) - See last page for  
            vote


           SUBJECT  :    Admissibility of evidence:  victims of human  
          trafficking

           SOURCE  :     Los Angeles County District Attorneys Office


           DIGEST  :    This bill clarifies that evidence that a victim of  
          human trafficking has engaged in a commercial sex act cannot be  
          used to prosecute that victim for the commercial sex act.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1.Specifies that commercial sex act" means sexual conduct on  
            account of which anything of value is given or received by any  
            person.

          2.Provides that human trafficking is one of the offenses which  
            is "criminal profiteering activity" subjecting proceeds from  
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            the activity to forfeiture proceedings. 

          3.Provides that any person who deprives or violates the personal  
            liberty of another with the intent to obtain forced labor or  
            services, is guilty of human trafficking and shall be punished  
            by imprisonment in the state prison for 5, 8, or 12 years and  
            a fine of not more than $500,000.

          4.States that any person who deprives or violates the personal  
            liberty of another with the intent to affect or maintain a  
            violation of specified sex crimes is guilty of human  
            trafficking and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state  
            prison for 8, 14, or 20 years and a fine of not more than  
            $500,000.
           
           5.States that any person who causes, induces, or persuades, or  
            attempts to cause, induce, or persuade, a person who is a  
            minor at the time of commission of the offense to engage in a  
            commercial sex act, with the intent to affect or maintain a  
            violation of specified sex crimes is guilty of human  
            trafficking. A violation of this subdivision is punishable by  
            imprisonment in the state prison for 5, 8, or 12 years and a  
            fine of not more than $500,000 or fifteen years to life and a  
            fine of not more than $500,000 when the offense involves  
            force, fear, fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress,  
            menace, or threat of unlawful injury to the victim or to  
            another person.

          6.Provides that in determining whether a minor was caused,  
            induced, or persuaded to engage in a commercial sex act, the  
            totality of the circumstances, including the age of the  
            victim, his or her relationship to the trafficker or agents of  
            the trafficker, and any handicap or disability of the victim,  
            shall be considered.

          7.Prohibits the admissibility of evidence that a victim of human  
            trafficking has engaged in any commercial sexual act as a  
            result of being a victim of human trafficking in order to  
            prove the victim's criminal liability for any conduct related  
            to that activity.
           
          This bill prohibits the admissibility of evidence that the  
          victim has engaged in any commercial sexual act as a result of  
          being a victim of human trafficking in order to prove the  

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          victim's liability for the commercial sex act.

           Background
           
          Human trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation or  
          sale of people for forced labor.  Through violence, threats and  
          coercion, victims are forced to work in, among other things, the  
          sex trade, domestic labor, factories, hotels and agriculture.   
          According to the January 2005 United States Department of  
          State's Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center report, "Fact  
          Sheet: Distinctions Between Human Smuggling and Human  
          Trafficking", there are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men,  
          women and children trafficked across international borders each  
          year.  Of these, approximately 80% are women and girls and up to  
          50% are minors. A recent report by the Human Rights Center at  
          the University of California, Berkeley cited 57 cases of forced  
          labor in California between 1998 and 2003, with over 500  
          victims.  The report, "Freedom Denied", notes most of the  
          victims in California were from Thailand, Mexico, and Russia and  
          had been forced to work as prostitutes, domestic slaves, farm  
          laborers or sweatshop employees. [University of California,  
          Berkeley Human Rights Center, "Freedom Denied: Forced Labor in  
          California" (February, 2005).] According to the author:  "While  
          the clandestine nature of human trafficking makes it enormously  
          difficult to accurately track how many people are affected, the  
          United States government estimates that about 17,000 to 20,000  
          women, men and children are trafficked into the United States  
          each year, meaning there may be as many as 100,000 to 200,000  
          people in the United States working as modern slaves in homes,  
          sweatshops, brothels, agricultural fields, construction projects  
          and restaurants." 

          In 2012, Californians voted to pass Proposition 35, which  
          modified many provisions of California's already tough human  
          trafficking laws.  The proposition increased criminal penalties  
          for human trafficking, including prison sentences up to  
          15-years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000.  Additionally, the  
          proposition specified that the fines collected are to be used  
          for victim services and law enforcement. Proposition 35 requires  
          persons convicted of trafficking to register as sex offenders.   
          Proposition 35 prohibits evidence that victims engaged in sexual  
          conduct from being used against victims in court proceedings.  
          Additionally, the proposition lowered the evidential  
          requirements for showing of force in cases of minors.

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           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No   Local:  
           No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  6/12/13)

          Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office (source) 


           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the Los Angeles County  
          District Attorney's Office:

               The Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act, commonly  
               known as the CASE Act ("Act"), was passed by initiative on  
               November 6, 2012.    Evidence Code section 1161,  
               subdivision (a), which is in Section 4 of the Act, is  
               particularly problematic. It states:

                    Evidence that a victim of human trafficking, as  
                    defined in Section 236.1 of the Penal Code, has  
                    engaged in any commercial sexual act as a result of  
                    being a victim of human trafficking is inadmissible to  
                    prove the victim's criminal liability for any conduct  
                    related to that activity. (§ 1161, subd. (a).)

               Clearly, in a prosecution of a victim of human trafficking  
               for an act of prostitution that is related to the  
               trafficking, section 1161, subdivision (a), makes any  
               evidence of a commercial sexual act related to that  
               trafficking inadmissable.  However, prosecutions beyond  
               prostitution may be affected.  

               The statute states that evidence of commercial sexual  
               activity is inadmissible to prove "criminal liability for  
               any conduct related to that activity" (§ 1161, subd. (a),  
               emphasis added), instead of the phrase "criminal liability  
               for the commercial sex act."  Thus, the reach of section  
               1161, subdivision (a), will turn on what a court believes  
               is "conduct related to that activity."   This language  
               could be readily interpreted to apply to prosecutions such  
               as pimping and pandering other prostitutes, or the robbery  
               or murder of a "john" or a trafficker.  If evidence of the  
               commercial sexual act is found to be inadmissible, these  
               prosecutions will be compromised.

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           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  70-0, 5/16/13
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Ammiano, Atkins, Bigelow, Bloom,  
            Blumenfield, Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta, Bradford, Brown, Ian  
            Calderon, Campos, Chau, Chávez, Chesbro, Conway, Cooley,  
            Dahle, Daly, Dickinson, Donnelly, Fong, Fox, Frazier, Garcia,  
            Gatto, Gomez, Gordon, Gorell, Gray, Hagman, Hall, Harkey,  
            Roger Hernández, Jones, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Linder, Logue,  
            Lowenthal, Maienschein, Mansoor, Medina, Mitchell, Mullin,  
            Muratsuchi, Nazarian, Nestande, Olsen, Pan, Patterson, Perea,  
            V. Manuel Pérez, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Salas, Skinner,  
            Ting, Torres, Wagner, Waldron, Weber, Wieckowski, Wilk,  
            Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Allen, Buchanan, Eggman, Beth Gaines, Grove,  
            Holden, Melendez, Morrell, Stone, Vacancy


          JG:nl  6/12/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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