TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/WIBW) _ Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Monday legislation designed to strengthen efforts in Kansas to combat human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of young women.
Brownback says it will provide increased criminal penalties and services for victims of sexual exploitation.
The bill creates the crime of commercial sexual exploitation of a child, covering those ages 14 to 17. It also makes other modifications to Kansas human trafficking laws passed nearly a decade earlier.
"Kansas has made great strides forward in the fight against modern-day slavery with this new law," Brownback said. "This will not only strengthen our ability to severely punish traffickers, it will give us valuable new tools to protect vulnerable young victims so they can have hope of a new life and break a cycle of exploitation."
Attorney General Derek Schmidt joined the Governor for the signing ceremony. His office pushed for passage of the measure.
“This is the first comprehensive anti-human trafficking law in Kansas history," Schmidt said. "As we have throughout our state’s history, Kansas today took another positive step in the struggle for human dignity, and I applaud the Governor and legislators for their strong dedication to this measure.”
The bill also establishs a fund that will be financed with fines and forfeiture of property from those convicted of the sex crimes. The revenue will be used to pay for treatment and services for the victims of the crimes.