OKLAHOMA CITY - Two pieces of Oklahoma legislation regarding prostitution and child trafficking are on their way to the governor's desk.
House bills 1058 and 1067, both approved in the Senate Thursday, aim to curb the prevalence of human sex trafficking in a state identified as the No. 1 destination for the crime in the U.S.
House Bill 1058 -- VIEW THE BILL (http://bit.ly/12Q6xxf)
Under the legislation, those charged or convicted of a "prostitution-related offense" in Oklahoma may have their record expunged by the court if it so chooses. The court may do so on its own accord or "upon petition by the defendant and for good cause shown," the bill states.
“What happens to these victims is not their fault," said Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Tulsa. "They need to be able to have their record expunged in order to move on with their lives.”
House Bill 1067 -- VIEW THE BILL (http://bit.ly/10XshGi)
Written to more specifically aid minor victims forced into the sex trade, HB 1067 would require peace officers to notify victims of all available services and give Oklahoma's attorney general the authority to create an emergency hotline for human trafficking victims.
The bill also presumes minors involved in prostitution did so out of coercion. Co-author Rep. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, says the distinction is important.
"I believe it is vital to protect our children who have been drawn into human trafficking and abuse,” Denney said. “We need to protect them from prosecution and focus instead on restoring their mental and physical wholeness.”
Fallin has five days to decide whether to sign the legislation.
To report human trafficking, call 1-888-373-7888 or contact your local FBI office.
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Nearly a dozen fire trucks have converged on a Tulsa home, where flames and smoke could be seen from the roadway.
A satanic group wants to display a monument at the Oklahoma State Capitol, next to the Ten Commandments.
A federal grand jury has indicted two men believed to be gang members for allegedly killing a Tulsa man while he took out the trash.