Governor Signs DA Sponsored Human Trafficking Bill

On August 29, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 939, marking a significant advancement in the ability to prosecute human trafficking cases that cross jurisdictional lines. The legislation, co-sponsored by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and authored by Senator Marty Block, enables prosecutors to file multiple charges against a defendant who commits human trafficking-related offenses in multiple jurisdictions across the State of California.

“Human trafficking, pimping, and pandering are not limited to one jurisdiction. By the crimes’ very nature, victims can be exploited wherever there is demand. Perpetrators frequently move across jurisdictional lines to avoid apprehension,” states D.A. Nancy E. O’Malley. “This law eliminates the need for multiple trials in different jurisdictions, a process that too often resulted in excessive trauma and travel for victims, unnecessary costs to our court system, and complicated prosecution of human trafficking related crimes.”

Victims of human trafficking and its related crimes are often exploited in different counties and cities across California to evade law enforcement detection and to increase profit for the perpetrators. Suspects are commonly part of organized criminal enterprises. The new law creates a consolidated trial process for human-trafficking related offenses, much like the prosecution of other crimes committed by serial perpetrators such as child molesters and rapists.

The bill was co-sponsored by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, along with the District Attorney’s Offices of San Diego, Riverside and Orange Counties. “I wish to thank Governor Brown for signing this vital piece of legislation and Senator Marty Block for authoring and championing this bill,” adds D.A. O’Malley. The change in the law takes effect January 1, 2015.

Contact: ADA Teresa Drenick
(510) 272-6280
Alameda County District Attorney’s Office

Posted on Sep 2, 2014