Committee Unanimously Approves Two More Cooke Bills Guarding Against Sex Trade

 

DENVER—Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved two more bills carried by Senator John Cooke (R-Greeley) focused on protecting victims of sexual servitude and ending sex trafficking in Colorado.

House Bill 17-1072 adds to the definition of human trafficking for sexual servitude, the act of purchasing another person in order to coerce engagement in sexual activity. It also adds this element to the definition of human trafficking of a minor 

Under current law, unlawful sexual activity only pertains to minors, HB 1072 expands that definition to include human trafficking and requires those convicted to register under the sex offender registry. 

House Bill 17-1172 requires courts to adhere to the minimum sentencing of eight years in the Department of Corrections for those convicted of a class 2 felony for human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude. 

In 2016, Colorado saw a 56 percent increase in the number of human trafficking cases from reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

Senator John Cooke is a former Sheriff of Weld County who worked as a persons crime investigator and focused his career on protecting Colorado's most vulnerable citizens from sexual assaults, rapes, and violent crimes.

 

"Giving law enforcement every weapon in our arsenal to combat these heinous crimes, and ensuring that we untie the hands of our judges and juries, and give them the confidence to seek convictions will allow us to take crucial steps to ending sexual exploitation in Colorado," said Cooke. "These may seem like small fixes, but the small fixes will have a large impact. These small fixes could save the life of someone you know."

HB 1072 and 1172 now move on to a vote of the Committee of the Whole.

 

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