HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Marci Mustello (R-Butler) that would strengthen the ability of police and prosecutors to combat sexual violence and human trafficking throughout Pennsylvania passed the House today.
Mustello’s bill is part of a package of eight bills being advanced by the House this week to address the crime of human trafficking.
“My legislation specifically helps to protect minors,” said Mustello. “There have been cases of human trafficking in Butler County, as well as across the Commonwealth. This horrendous crime needs to stop. We must continue to work to ensure that our most vulnerable young people do not continue to be abused and exploited in our communities and across the country.”
House Bill 231
would strengthen current law by adding certain prohibited activities which constitute the crime of unlawful contact with a minor.
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 seek help for a variety of reasons, including language barriers, fear of traffickers and law enforcement, and lack of trust.
“We must increase awareness and understanding and step-up efforts to combat this crime,” said Mustello.
House Bill 231 now goes to the state Senate for consideration.
Representative Marci Mustello
11th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner
717.260.6437 (office), 717.497.8478 (cell)