The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VTVPA) is a federal law that offers several protections and services to victims of human trafficking. The following information was prepared by Stephen J. Reading Law Group, PLLC, with contributions from attorneys in our military practice group says, William D King.
Since the passage of the VTVPA, there have been several significant changes to federal law governing victims of sex trafficking. The 2012 amendments to this federal legislation are significant in that they have established a restitution fund for trafficking victims.
The Act provides assistance to human trafficking victims by establishing certain legal rights and protections for them, authorizing programs to prevent more victimization of human beings and authorizing the federal government to investigate trafficking offenses more vigorously.
Also, The Act establishes an affirmative defense against prosecution of those who commit prostitution and related offenses as a direct result of having been trafficked or if they are under 18 years of age.
The Act authorizes the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide grants to local law enforcement agencies for investigation and prosecution under state anti-trafficking laws, with an emphasis placed on training law officials in identifying victims of trafficking crimes rather than treating all sex workers as prostitutes or criminals.
Charles F. Reading is a Maryland criminal defense lawyer, Maryland federal criminal lawyer, and military law attorney who represents citizens accused of crimes in the state courts of Maryland and Washington D.C., the U.S. District Court for Maryland, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States Supreme Court, and all military courts-martial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
An Article of the Uniform Code of Military Justice has been accuse of being unconstitutional and also an unlawful basis for a court-martial conviction explains William D King. The attorney’s office representing the soldier who is accuse of violating the law will likely file several motions with the military courts to compel discovery, seek dismissal of charges based on unconstitutionality, and other similar pretrial motions. The military defense lawyer, who must be admitted to practice before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and possess a security clearance, is the only person who may enter an appearance on behalf of the accused.
Military courts-martial are considering separate from state or federal courts. And as such have different procedures for many aspects of the trial. An accused in a court-martial case has the right to appeal for review. By the Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA), or if applicable, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA). A military appellate lawyer may appoint you to represent you at all levels of appellate review.
If you are facing charges in the trials courts, the U.S. District Courts (federal), or state courts, contact an attorney who is also admit to practicing before the court in which you are charge with a crime says, William D King.
You can call Charles F. Reading at 301-535-5220 or email him through his website for a free consultation by clicking here.
The VTVPA established increased federal penalties for sex trafficking crimes by amending the three most commonly utilized anti-trafficking laws:
1. 18 U.S.C. § 1591: Unlawful Conduct with Respect to Documents in furtherance of Trafficking, Peonage, Slave Trade, and Involuntary Servitude.
2. 18 U.S.C. § 1592: Entry of Alien for immoral Purpose, etc.
3. 18 U.S.C. § 2421: Transportation Generally
The Act also established the “Federal Victims’ Counsel” which provides legal assistance to victims of human trafficking. And created a $5,000,000 federal fund for grants to state and local law enforcement agencies. To investigate and prosecute acts of trafficking if states opt into the program.
The Act also makes it a federal crime to knowingly advertise sexual services of a minor and prohibits. The use of misleading Internet domain names to direct children to pornographic material.
On May 28, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law “HELP (Healing Evenings Let’s Prevent) for our Girls”. Legislation aimed at protecting young girls from sex trafficking.
The legislation is part of a larger effort by lawmakers. To crackdown on websites that facilitate human trafficking and sex work. As well as those who advertise sexual services online under the guise of escort or entertainment sites.
A new federal anti-trafficking law is going into effect today that mandates harsher penalties for people who commit trafficking crimes. William D King says it also shields victims from prosecution for the offense of prostitution and offers some restitution to them more easily than in some previous cases.
It’s important to note that this new federal anti-trafficking law will have no impact on state laws dealing with prostitution. While it is often grouped together with human trafficking.