|June 12, 2012
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi today joined Governor Rick Scott, legislators and other state leaders at Kristi House in Miami for the ceremonial signing of two bills intended to stop human trafficking and to protect the victims of human trafficking. Attorney General Bondi worked closely with Senator Anitere Flores and Representative William Snyder on House Bill 7049, which significantly increases penalties for human trafficking and provides the Office of Statewide Prosecution with jurisdiction to pursue these cases.
“We want Florida to be a zero-tolerance state for human trafficking,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I am honored to join other state leaders who are dedicated to stopping this exploitative and debased industry that preys upon men, women and children.”
House Bill 7049 will help law enforcement and prosecutors crack down on human trafficking by:
· Increasing penalties for human trafficking;
· Authorizing law enforcement agencies to request permission from a judge to
intercept oral and electronic communications related to human trafficking
· Providing that those convicted of human sex trafficking may be designated as
sexual offenders and sexual predators; and
· Providing that any property used for human trafficking is subject to forfeiture.
Attorney General Bondi also supported the Florida Safe Harbor Act, House Bill 99, which increases the civil penalty for specified violations of prostitution from $500 to $5,000 and requires $500 of the civil penalty to be used for treatment-based drug court programs. The remaining $4,500 is to be paid to the Department of Children and Families to fund safe houses and short-term safe houses.