The FBI and GBI conducted an eleven day investigation into human trafficking throughout Atlanta in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. Authorities reported arrests of 26 individuals that are suspected of sex trafficking and 34 individuals suspected of sex acts with minors.
Close to 20 victims were rescued.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind human trafficking in Georgia in today's post. The law behind human trafficking captures a variety of different activity, so I will narrow it down into what is commonly referred to as sex trafficking.
Human Trafficking in Georgia
The crime of human trafficking in Georgia is broken down into separate offenses. One of the types of human trafficking involves what is commonly referred to as sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking, or by law, sexual servitude in Georgia means any sexually explicit conduct or performance involving sexually explicit conduct for which anything of value is directly or indirectly given, promised to, or received by any individual, which conduct is induced or obtained:
- By coercion or deception;
- From an individual who is under the age of 18 years;
- From an individual whom the accused believes to be under the age of 18 years;
- From an individual who has a development disability; or
- From an individual from whom the accused believes to have a development disability. O.C.G.A. §16-5-46.
The criminal offense of human sex trafficking occurs when a person knowingly subjects another person to or maintains another person in sexual servitude or knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains by any means another for the purpose of sexual servitude.
If convicted of trafficking a person for sexual servitude, the crime is classified as a felony and will be punished by a prison term of ten to twenty years and a fine not to exceed $100,000.00. However, the penalty is escalated if the victim has a developmental disability or was under the age of 18. Under these circumstances, the accused will receive a fine up to $100,000.00 and a prison term between twenty-five and fifty years.
According to reports, there were over 150 human trafficking related arrests in the week leading up to the Super Bowl in Atlanta.
“Sex trafficking is a problem that occurs every day of the year in every city and in every town in the country.” - FBI Special Agent Taylor Dervish told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. However, Dervish pointed out that major events (like the Super Bowl) bring more money and more people, which in turn leads to more criminal activity such as human trafficking.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, it is always vital for me to point out that even though someone may get arrested for a crime that does not mean that they are to be assumed guilty. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today.