HARRISBURG – Sen. Kim Ward (R-39) has introduced legislation to require offenders convicted of any sex trafficking-related offenses to register with the Megan’s Law sex offender registry.
“Pennsylvania had the seventh-highest rate of human trafficking reports in 2017. According to a U.S. Department of Justice report from the same year, most defendants in the FBI’s human trafficking cases had prior criminal records, and they were prone to recidivism,” Ward said.
“The Megan’s Law Registry has proven to be a deterrent to subsequent sexual offenses committed by those who are on it. However, the Commonwealth currently only requires offenders convicted of trafficking minors to be registered under Megan’s Law,” Ward said.
“Under Senate Bill 136, all convicted sex trafficking offenders would be required to register.”
Senate Bill 136 would amend Title 42 to classify the following convictions relating to human trafficking as tiered sexual offenses subject to registration:
- Trafficking in individuals – Tier I Sexual Offense, 15 years registration
- Sexual servitude – Tier II Offense, 25 years registration
- Patronizing a victim of sexual servitude – Tier 1 Sexual Offense, 15 years registration
Tier classifications are based upon the grading of the offenses. Those trafficking offenses that are second-degree felonies would be considered Tier I Sexual Offenses and first-degree felonies would be classified as Tier II Sexual Offenses.
“Sex trafficking is not only dangerous, it’s dehumanizing, and has no place in 21st century society,” Ward said. “We have to use every tool available to end it, and the Megan’s Law Registry is a valuable resource for notifying the community of the presence of sex offenders and for deterring repeat offenses.”