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Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle applauds the actions of the 2014 Florida Legislature for passing the additional Human Trafficking legislation she had proposed during her interactions with members of the Florida House and the Florida Senate. I am very proud of how responsive our Florida Legislature has been to the needs of Human Trafficking victims, said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. They have seen the need to come down hard on those who would sell the childhood of our victims while recognizing the special steps it may require to rebuild the future of these victims. Several of the criminal cases filed by my Human Trafficking Task Force contained conduct that so shocked our legislators (such as the branding via tattooing of young girls and the use of a 13 year old girl at a strip club) that specific prohibitions and requirements were created.

Among the accomplishments of the new legislation will be the prohibition on the employment of minors in adult theaters and strip clubs; the requirement that adult theaters and strip clubs verify the ages of employees and their independent contractors and maintain documentation of that proof; a revision of some of the penalties for various human trafficking offenses which can make a convicted repeat offender eligible for as much as a life sentence. The legislation also provides sentence enhancements for the branding via tattooing of Human Trafficking victims while adding privacy protections to the victims of Human Trafficking by exempting information that reveals their identity of a victim similar to the protections given to the victims of sexual assaults. Additionally, the Legislature provided Human Trafficking victims with access to Victims Crimes Compensation funds which also provide these victims a vehicle for possible relocation assistance.


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