Rep. Vicki Kraft bill sets minimum $5,000 fine for sex trafficking conviction

House Bill 1836 received a hearing Friday in the House Public Safety Committee

VANCOUVER — A bill that would prohibit courts from waiving, reducing or suspending certain fees and fines charged to those convicted of sexual exploitation of children received a hearing Friday in the House Public Safety Committee.

Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-17
Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-17

Rep. Vicki Kraft, R-Vancouver, the author of House Bill 1836, testified before the committee.

“It addresses the horrendous crime of sex trafficking for minors. This is all about protecting children and reducing the demand of sex traffickers,” said Kraft. “One practical way to do that is to make it more painful for those who would look to purchase a minor for sex by raising the amount of penalties.”

Current law provides for penalties of up to $5,000 for those convicted of commercial sexual abuse of a minor, promoting commercial sexual abuse of a minor and/or promoting travel for commercial sexual abuse of a minor. An additional $5,000 penalty may be imposed if the internet was used to facilitate the offense.

“This bill simply removes the language from up to $5,000. Instead, they will pay a mandatory $5,000,” said Kraft. “And if the internet is involved, it’s another mandatory $5,000.”

To address concerns about removing the court’s discretion, Kraft said the bill is being amended to allow judges the discretion to impose fines of up to $7,500, with a minimum of $5,000.

The measure has been scheduled for executive action later this week.

Information courtesy of Washington State House Republican Communications, houserepublicans.wa.gov .

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Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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