Human trafficking would become a more serious crime under legislation now before Governor Nixon.
The House approved SCS/HCS/HB 214 unanimously, 154-0, accepting changes made in the Senate and sending it to the governor. Those who coerce or threaten a woman, ensnaring them in prostitution, could be charged with human trafficking. Penalties against forced child labor and slavery would be enhanced. Prostitutes would not be charged with a crime, if it is proven they were forced into sex trafficking.
House sponsor, Rep. Anne Zerr (R-St. Charles), says too many Missourians don’t realize how serious the problem is, in part, she says because the practice is so ugly many don’t want to think about it.