There will be a legislative hearing Thursday on LB 289, a bill that would change provisions and penalties relating to pandering, human trafficking, labor trafficking and sex trafficking and prohibit solicitation of a trafficking victim. Meghan Malick is the project manager of the Women’s Fund of Omaha and says sex trafficking has changed over the years. She says instead of standing on street corners women are now sold and traded online and arrangements can be made from a solicitor’s home in a cell phone.
LB 289 would increase the penalties for those soliciting sex. Malick says, “In our state you can purchase somebody for sex and it is a $250 fine that state fine often gets pled down to the city fine of $99. LB 289 would really increase penalties for individuals soliciting sex from trafficked individuals. Individuals soliciting sex from minors would be considered a trafficker.” Malick says right now soliciting of a minor can get you probation and they would like that penalty increased significantly.
Malick says there are over 900 individuals sold each month for sex monthly in Nebraska and many are minors.