HARRISBURG – Rep. Marci Mustello (R-Butler) today applauded House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) and members of the committee for overwhelmingly passing her legislation that would strengthen current law by adding certain prohibited activities which constitute the crime of unlawful contact with a minor.
“Human trafficking may be hidden in the shadows, but it remains a dangerous threat in our Commonwealth,” said Mustello. “It has occurred in Butler County on many occasions, and I want it stopped so everyone can enjoy our beautiful community and live peacefully. The bill helps to protect minors.”
Significantly, this legislation will strengthen the ability of police and prosecutors to combat sexual violence and human trafficking throughout Pennsylvania.
“Minors must be protected from their abusers, not jailed. My bill, House Bill 231
, would go a long way to guarantee their well-being,” said Mustello. “I am pleased that this bill will protect the well-being of our children.”
Mustello notes that traffickers often prey upon children in the foster care system. Recent reports have indicated that many U.S. victims of child sex trafficking were at one time in the foster care system. These crimes often remain hidden because victims are reluctant to see help for a variety of reasons, including language barriers, fear of traffickers and law enforcement, and lack of trust.
“We must see the urgent need to step up efforts to combat this crime,” said Mustello.
House Bill 231 now goes to the full House for consideration.
Representative Marci Mustello
11th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)