Governor signs law granting protections to victims of human trafficking

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Victims forced into prostitution with human trafficking can take steps to clear their record of those offenses, under a bill ceremonially signed today by Governor Steve Beshear.

Senate Bill 184 allows individuals to seek expungement of non-violent offenses that are the result of being a victim of human trafficking. The measure, signed at the Louisville Metro Police Department headquarters, passed unanimously in both the House and Senate during this year’s legislative session.

The law specifies that documentation from a federal, state, local or tribal governmental agency indicating the individual was the victim of human trafficking at the time of the offense creates a presumption that his or her participation was a direct result of being a victim. The individual can file to have the records of the offense expunged once 60 days have passed after final judgment is entered.

Human rights representatives indicate that human trafficking is a growing problem in the Commonwealth. From June 26, 2013, when Kentucky’s Human Trafficking Victims Rights Act went into effect, until Oct. 18, 2013, the Department of Community Based Services received 20 reports concerning 25 child victims of suspected human trafficking.

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