Human Trafficking is a Growing Problem in Wisconsin – Part2by Gamino Law Offices on 03/14/14
In Part 1 of our blog, our Wisconsin criminal defense attorneys discussed the growing problem of human trafficking crimes across the state. Though previous laws have been enacted to reduce the rate of occurrence of these serious crimes, they haven’t proved effective in combating this terrible and escalating problem. But now, a new legislation is shaping up to be the state’s best fighting chance against trafficking crimes.
Last month, lawmakers in Madison showed support for a new anti-trafficking law that many believe will make a difference in the state’s crime problem. With the assistance of Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s office, GOP state Rep. Amy Loudenbeck authored AB620, which passed the Assembly on a bipartisan voice vote on Feb. 11. The law facilitates the process of convicting a trafficking suspect and enhances penalties for trafficking offenses.
Sen. Jerry Petrowski, R– Marathon, who authored a companion bill, SB492, which is expected to clear the chamber as early as this week, believes that while there’s still a lot more that must be done to protect the Wisconsin community, the state is “moving in the right direction to eradicate human trafficking.”
Whether or not the bills pass, at least they have opened the community’s eyes to Wisconsin’s human trafficking problem. The internet has made it exponentially easier for traffickers to get away with their crimes.
The scope of human trafficking extends far beyond what anyone can imagine. Human trafficking is the second largest criminal enterprise after drug trafficking. These crimes can involve both drug distribution as well as sex crimes like prostitution. Most of these cases involve women and young girls, but in reality, anyone can become a victim.
These statistics, as alarming as they are, only represent a fraction of the crimes taking place across the state on a daily basis. Anyone charged with a criminal offense in Wisconsin, whether the case involves trafficking, assault or even theft, should speak with an experienced criminal attorney for immediate legal defense or risk suffering extensive penalties, including imprisonment.