Thursday, July 14, 2011

Georgia Looking To Pass Legislation To Crack Down On Child Sex Crime Offenders

(One News Now)In this taped audio excerpt from a study on child sex demand, a man tells a woman posing as a 16-year-old escort that she is too old. When she reveals to the caller that she just "turned 16...a couple of days ago," he tells her he would like her to be "about 12."

Some Georgia legislators are making efforts to accomplish a balance between tougher penalties for criminals and better treatment for victims, like one sex trafficking survivor who thought of a painful way to get away from being sold for her body.

"I was hoping that I would get in a car accident and have my face disfigured because I thought if I was ugly, then nobody would want me anymore and nobody would have sex with me," she shares.

Another survivor, Keisha Head, adds that victims are often intimidated by their captors.

"They would beat you; they would make you feel like they would cause you...or your family harm," she accounts. "And another thing...some of the girls don't have anywhere else to go."

Ernie Allen, CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, reports that the official numbers are in dispute, but child sex trafficking in the U.S. is a serious issue.

"This is America's dirty little secret," he notes. "These are crimes that the public doesn't see, that the public doesn't want to believe exist. These are hidden victims."

The proposed legislation calls for a 25-year minimum sentence for those convicted of coercing children under the age of 18 into trafficking, and it slaps a minimum sentence of five years on those who pay for sex with a 16-year-old. Pursuing sexual encounters with younger children could lead to at least ten years behind bars.

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