Democrats rejected a bill that would make sex trafficking children a felony

CALIFORNIA — A report is circulating that Democrats rejected a bill authored by Republican Senator Shannon Grove that would make the buying and selling of children for sex a felony.

CBS News reported, "The original bill would make soliciting a minor for sex, agreeing to engage or engaging in any form of commercial sex with a child a felony offense with a sex offender registry required on repeat offenses."

Democrats on the public safety committee amended the bill to exempt 16- and 17-year-olds from the penalties and reduce the punishment from two years in prison to up to a year in county jail.

"You have a committee forcing amendments in front of survivors that are advocating for this bill," Senator Grove said.

"I'm incredibly disappointed that not only did my colleagues reject my proposal to make the buying of children for sex a prison felony, but that I was blindsided when they amended my bill without my consent."'

You can watch Grove's commentary here:

The CBS News report continued:

"Those against the bill including Senator Scott Wiener said they fear it could target the wrong people by punishing young adults in consensual relationships with minors.

"This bill goes well beyond human trafficking. I think human trafficking, we should throw the book at them. This bill would sweep in a lot of people who are not trafficking. This bill will send people to state prison, on the sex registry, which is basically in many ways the end of their life," Sen. Wiener said.

Shane Harris, President of the People's Association of Justice Advocates, joined alongside Sen. Grove in a press conference before the committee hearing to express support for the bill. As a criminal justice advocate, Harris said this would protect the most vulnerable Californians.

"Part of the reason that I'm supporting the bill and what, and have been supporting it, is because 60% of trafficked victims are actually fostered youth, or have been in foster care," Harris, who is a former foster child himself, said."

Read the full unedited story at


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