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California Bill Would Expand Search Warrants for Child Sex Trafficking Investigations

California Bill Would Expand Search Warrants for Child Sex Trafficking Investigations

Photographic evidence of human sex trafficking is displayed at the release of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force’s 2023 Human Trafficking Victim Report in Irvine, Calif., on Oct. 3, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Summer Lane
Summer Lane

6/30/2024

Updated: 7/1/2024

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New legislation in California could expand law enforcement’s ability to obtain search warrants in cases related to soliciting children for sex, broadening legislative efforts to combat sex trafficking.
Assembly Bill 2419 was introduced by Democrat Assemblyman Mike Gipson. It passed an Assembly vote 57–0 on May 23, and is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee on July 2.
California law already allows for the issuance of search warrants for human trafficking and other crimes when there is probable cause to believe evidence is available to prove that a felony has been committed.
However, “solicitation of a minor for prostitution is a misdemeanor and, therefore, it is not a permissible ground to issue a warrant,” according to Los Angeles City Attorney Hydee Feldstein Soto’s office.
“AB 2419 will fix this loophole and allow for communications regarding the possible trafficking or solicitation of a minor to be listed as a ground to obtain a search warrant,” said the city attorney’s office in a March 28 press release in support of the bill.
The bill would amend the penal code to include “evidence in furtherance of sex trafficking of a person under 18 years of age,” according to the latest version of the amended bill.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, in 2021, over 1,300 human trafficking cases were identified in the state involving more than 2,100 victims.
The California Department of Justice is working with law enforcement and other agencies to combat trafficking operations by conducting special operations, carrying out hundreds of address checks on sex offenders, and training police across the state to protect exploited children, the department said in a recent fact sheet.
Earlier this spring, the state Senate passed Senate Bill 1414, which would make it a felony to solicit a child for sex in California. The bill was authored by Republican Sen. Shannon Grove and will be heard in the Assembly Public Safety Committee on July 2.
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Summer Lane is the bestselling author of 30 adventure books, including the hit "Collapse Series." She is a reporter and writer with years of experience in journalism and political analysis. Summer is a wife and mother and lives in the Central Valley of California.

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