We hear these stories and tell ourselves that it would never happen to us, but the growing number of human trafficking in California is astronomical. Human Trafficking is an estimated $32 billion industry, the world’s second largest criminal enterprise after the drug trade. This has especially hit close to home right here in the Sacramento region. Just this last Thursday October 20, sisters Taniysha Hornbuckle, 24 and Tamrell Hornbuckle, 26 were sentenced to 15 years and 8 months for sex trafficking of minors. These two women and others in the area forced and coerced young girls to engage in commercial sex acts.
Many traffickers in California enslave children. In 2003, the FBI identified Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego, as three of the thirteen high intensity child prostitution areas in the U.S. Advocates argue current Californian laws are neither sufficient to protect children nor to deter sex trafficking of minors. Experts say the state law doesn’t protect child victims of sex trafficking. Though human trafficking is a felony in the state, the law allows pimps and johns to walk free when they prove minor victims’ consent to prostitute.
A young California native, Sara Kruzan, was 11 years old, when she first met her 33 year old pimp, G.G. He was there for her for two years when no one else was, to earn her trust. Sara’s mother was addicted to drugs and often was absent from the home. G.G.’s attention meant more to Sara than anything else.
G.G. was there at some times…and he would talk to me, take me out, and give me all these lavish gifts…” Sara recalled
After earning Sara’s trust, G.G. forced Sara into prostitution for three years. G.G. forced Sara and other victims to work on the street for 12 hours a day from 6:00 p.m. to 6 a.m. During her sexual slavery, Sara had no holidays, vacation, or even a day off from constant rape. After enduring G.G.’s sexual, physical, and emotional abuse for three years, Sara finally ended her slavery by shooting her pimp. A Californian judge sentenced her to life without parole for murder. Sara was only 16 years old at that time and received neither victim assistance nor the protection she deserved. When young children are left without guidance or love they will find it somewhere else, in this case it was in the hands of a monster.
California’s prostitution law fails to identify children involved in prostitution as victims of sex trafficking. Neither does it offer an affirmative defense to children charged with the offense. As a result experts say that different districts subject victims to different protocols and placements, including detention.
On November 6, 2012 you have the opportunity to help stop this insidious industry.
Proposition 35, the “Californians Against Sexual Exploitation Act” Initiative is on the November 6, 2012 ballot in California as an initiated state statute.
If it is approved by the state’s voters, Proposition 35 (CASE ACT) will:
• Increase prison terms for human traffickers.
• Require convicted sex traffickers to register as sex offenders.
• Require all registered sex offenders to disclose their internet accounts.
• Require criminal fines from convicted human traffickers to pay for services to help victims.
• Mandate law enforcement training on human trafficking. Increases criminal penalties for human trafficking, including prison sentences up to 15-years-to-life and fines up to $1,500,000.
• Fines collected to be used for victim services and law enforcement.
• Requires person convicted of trafficking to register as sex offender.
• Requires sex offenders to provide information regarding Internet access and identities they use in online activities.
• Prohibits evidence that victim engaged in sexual conduct from being used against victim in court proceedings.
• Requires human trafficking training for police officers.
Please take the time to read about this very important Initiative and Vote YES on Prop 35
For more information on Human Trafficking please visit