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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 19, 2012
Introduced by Reps. Hardwick, Hearn, Mitchell, Long, Erickson, Brady, Butler Garrick, Funderburk, Munnerlyn, Knight, Dillard, Cobb-Hunter, Parks, Huggins, Allison, Tallon, Brannon, Atwater, Whipper, Patrick and J.R. Smith
S. Printed 4/19/12--H.
Read the first time February 24, 2011.
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 19 TO CHAPTER 3, TITLE 16 SO AS TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS, PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN HUMAN TRAFFICKING OFFENSES AND PROVIDE PENALTIES, TO PROVIDE FOR CRIMINAL LIABILITY OF BUSINESS ENTITIES, TO PROVIDE RESTITUTION FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING OFFENSES, TO ESTABLISH AN INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A PLAN FOR THE PREVENTION OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS, TO REQUIRE THE COLLECTION AND DISSEMINATION OF DATA RELATED TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING BY THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION (SLED), TO REQUIRE MANDATORY LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING OFFENSES, TO PROVIDE FOR THE CREATION OF PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAMS REGARDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE STATE, TO ALLOW CIVIL ACTIONS BY VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING, TO PROVIDE THAT CERTAIN STANDARDS OF WORKING CONDITIONS APPLY WITHOUT REGARD TO IMMIGRATION STATUS, TO PROVIDE CERTAIN PROTECTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING PURSUANT TO THE VICTIMS' BILL OF RIGHTS AND OTHER RELEVANT STATUTORY PROVISIONS, TO REQUIRE THE STATE TO DEVELOP PLANS FOR HOUSING AND COUNSELING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, OF VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE ACT, TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN RIGHTS OF MINOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING, TO ESTABLISH HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM-CASEWORKER PRIVILEGE, AND TO CREATE THE OFFENSE OF MALICIOUSLY OR WITH CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE PUBLISHING, DISSEMINATING, OR OTHERWISE DISCLOSING THE LOCATION OF A HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM, A TRAFFICKING SHELTER, OR A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER AND TO PROVIDE A PENALTY; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 16-3-930 RELATING TO TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS FOR FORCED LABOR OR SERVICES.
Amend Title To Conform
Whereas, an estimated twenty-seven million people are currently enslaved around the world; and
Whereas, the United States State Department estimates that between 14,000 and 17,000 people are trafficked into our borders each year; and
Whereas, crimes of this nature have occurred in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville, South Carolina; and
Whereas, it is our responsibility to protect our people, combat crime, and promote legislation that can enable this behavior throughout our State. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 3, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 16-3-2010. (A) As used in this article:
(1) 'Business' means a corporation, partnership, proprietorship, firm, enterprise, franchise, organization, or self-employed individual.
(2) 'Charitable organization' means a 'charitable organization' pursuant to section 33-56-20.
(3) 'Debt bondage' means the status or condition of a debtor arising from a pledge by the debtor of his personal services or those of a person under his control as a security for debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined or if the principal amount of the debt does not reasonably reflect the value of the items or services for which the debt was incurred.
(4) 'Forced labor' means any type of labor or services performed or provided by a person rendered through another person's coercion of the person providing the labor or services.
This definition does not include labor or services performed or provided by a person in the custody of the Department of Corrections or a local jail, detention center, or correctional facility.
(5) 'Involuntary servitude' means a condition of servitude induced through coercion.
(6) 'Person' means an individual, corporation, partnership, charitable organization, or another legal entity.
(7) 'Sex trafficking' means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for one of the following when it is induced by force, fraud, or coercion or the person forced to perform the act is under the age of eighteen years and anything of value is given, promised to, or received, directly or indirectly, by another person:
(a) criminal sexual conduct pursuant to section 16-3-651;
(b) criminal sexual conduct in the first degree pursuant to section 16-3-652;
(c) criminal sexual conduct in the second degree pursuant to section 16-3-653;
(d) criminal sexual conduct in the third degree pursuant to section 16-3-654;
(e) criminal sexual conduct with a minor pursuant to section 16-3-655;
(f) engaging a child for sexual performance pursuant to section 16-3-810;
(g) performance pursuant to section 16-3-800;
(h) producing, directing or promoting sexual performance by a child pursuant to section 16-3-820;
(i) sexual battery pursuant to section 16-3-661;
(j) sexual conduct pursuant to section 16-3-800; or
(k) sexual performance pursuant to section 16-3-800.
(8) 'Services' means an act committed at the behest of, under the supervision of, or for the benefit of another person.
(9) 'Trafficking in persons' means when a victim is subjected to or a person attempts to subject a victim to sex trafficking; forced labor or services; involuntary servitude; or debt bondage by employing one of the following:
(a) physically restraining or threatening to physically restrain another person;
(b) knowingly destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating, or possessing an actual or purported passport or other immigration document, or another actual or purported government identification document, of the victim;
(c) extortion or blackmail;
(d) causing or threatening to cause financial harm to the victim;
(e) facilitating or controlling a victim's access to a controlled substance; or
(10) 'Victim of trafficking in persons' or 'victim' means a person who has been subjected to the crime of trafficking in persons.
Section 16-3-2020. (A) A person who recruits, entices, solicits, isolates, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains, or so attempts, a victim, knowing that the victim will be subjected to sex trafficking, forced labor or services, involuntary servitude or debt bondage through any means or who benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture which has engaged in an act described in this subsection, is guilty of trafficking in persons.
(B) A person who recruits, entices, solicits, isolates, harbors, transports, provides, or obtains, or so attempts, a victim, for the purposes sex trafficking, forced labor or services, involuntary servitude or debt bondage through any means or who benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture which has engaged in an act described in subsection (A), is guilty of trafficking in persons.
(C) For a first offense, the person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than fifteen years.
(D) For a second offense, the person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than thirty years.
(E) For a third or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a felony and upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than forty-five years.
(F) If the victim of an offense contained in this section is under the age of eighteen, an additional term of fifteen years may be imposed in addition and must be consecutive to the penalty prescribed for a violation of this section.
(G) A person who aids, abets, or conspires with another person to violate the criminal provisions of this section must be punished in the same manner as provided for the principal offender and is considered a trafficker.
(H) A business owner who uses his business in a way that participates in a violation of this article, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for not more than ten years in addition to the penalties provided in this section for each violation.
(I) A plea of guilty or the legal equivalent entered pursuant to a provision of this article by an offender entitles the victim of trafficking in persons to all benefits, rights, and compensation granted pursuant to Section 16-3-1110.
(J) In a prosecution of a person who is a victim of trafficking in persons, it is an affirmative defense that he was under duress or coerced into committing the offenses for which he is subject to prosecution, if the offenses were committed as a direct result of, or incidental or related to, trafficking.
(K) Evidence of the following facts or conditions do not constitute a defense in a prosecution for a violation of this article, nor does the evidence preclude a finding of a violation:
(1) the victim's sexual history or history of commercial sexual activity, the specific instances of the victim's sexual conduct, opinion evidence of the victim's sexual conduct, and reputation evidence of the victim's sexual conduct;
(2) the victim's connection by blood or marriage to a defendant in the case or to anyone involved in the victim's trafficking;
(3) the implied or express consent of a victim to acts which violate the provisions of this section do not constitute a defense to violations of this section;
(4) age of consent to sex, legal age of marriage, or other discretionary age; and
(5) mistake as to the victim's age, even if the mistake is reasonable.
(L) A person who violates the provisions of this section may be prosecuted by the State Grand Jury pursuant to section 14-7-1600 when a victim is trafficked in more than one county or a trafficker commits the offense of trafficking in persons in more than one county.
Section 16-3-2030. (A) The principal owners of a business, a business entity, including a corporation, partnership, charitable organization, or another legal entity, that knowingly aids or participates in an offense provided in this article is criminally liable for the offense and will be subject to a fine or loss of business license in the State, or both.
(B) If the principal owners of a business entity are convicted of violating a section of this article, the court or Secretary of State, when appropriate, may:
(1) order its dissolution or reorganization;
(2) order the suspension or revocation of any license, permit, or prior approval granted to it by a state or local government agency; or
(3) order the surrender of its charter if it is organized under state law or the revocation of its certificate to conduct business in the State if it is not organized under state law.
Section 16-3-2040. (A) An offender convicted of a violation of this article must be ordered to pay mandatory restitution to the victim as provided in this section.
(B) If the victim of trafficking dies as a result of being trafficked, a surviving spouse of the victim is eligible for restitution. If no surviving spouse exists, restitution must be paid to the victim's issue or their descendants per stirpes. If no surviving spouse or issue or descendants exist, restitution must be paid to the victim's estate. A person named in this subsection may not receive funds from restitution if he benefited or engaged in conduct described in this article.
(C) If a person is unable to pay restitution at the time of sentencing, or at any other time, the court may set restitution pursuant to section 16-3-1270.
(D) Restitution for this section, pursuant to Section 16-3-1270, means payment for all injuries, specific losses, and expenses sustained by a crime victim resulting from an offender's criminal conduct pursuant to section 16-3-1110 (12)(a).
(E) Notwithstanding another provision of law, the applicable statute of limitations for a victim of trafficking in persons is pursuant to section 16-3-1110 12(a).
(F) Restitution must be paid to the victim promptly upon the conviction of the defendant. The return of the victim to his home country or other absence of the victim from the jurisdiction does not prevent the victim from receiving restitution.
Section 16-3-2050. (A) The Attorney General shall establish an interagency task force to develop and implement a State Plan for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons. The task force shall meet at least quarterly and should include all aspects of trafficking in persons, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking of both United States citizens and foreign nationals, as defined in Section 16-3-2010. The Attorney General also shall collect and publish relevant data to this section on their website.
(B) The task force shall consist of, at a minimum, representatives from:
(1) the Office of the Attorney General, who must be Chair;
(2) the South Carolina Labor, Licensing and Regulation;
(3) the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association;
(4) the South Carolina Sheriffs' Association;
(5) the State Law Enforcement Division;
(6) the Department of Health and Environmental Control Board;
(7) the United States Department of Labor;
(8) the State Office of Victim Assistance;
(9) the South Carolina Commission on Prosecution Coordination;
(10) the Department of Social Services;
(11) a representative from the Governor's office
(12) a representative from the Employment Security Commission; and
(13) two persons appointed by the Attorney General from nongovernmental organizations, especially those specializing in trafficking in persons, those representing diverse communities disproportionately affected by trafficking, agencies devoted to child services and runaway services, and academic researchers dedicated to the subject of trafficking in persons.
(C) The Attorney General shall invite representatives of the United States Attorneys' offices and of federal law enforcement agencies' offices within the State, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, to be members of the task force.
(D) The task force shall carry out the following activities either directly or through one or more of its constituent agencies:
(1) develop the state plan within eighteen months of the effective date of this act;
(2) coordinate the implementation of the state plan; and
(3) starting one year after the formation after the task force, submit an annual report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate on or before December thirty-first of each calendar year.
(E) The task force shall consider carrying out the following activities either directly or through one or more of its constituent agencies:
(1) coordinate the collection and sharing of trafficking data among government agencies, which data collection must respect the privacy of victims of trafficking in persons;
(2) coordinate the sharing of information between agencies for the purposes of detecting criminal groups engaged in trafficking in persons;
(3) explore the establishment of state policies for time limits for the issuance of Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) endorsements as described in C.F.R. Chapter 8, Section 214.11(f)(1);
(4) establish policies to enable state government to work with nongovernmental organizations and other elements of civil society to prevent trafficking in persons and provide assistance to United States citizens and foreign national victims;
(5) review the existing services and facilities to meet trafficking victims' needs and recommend a system to coordinate services including, but not limited to, health services, including mental health, housing, education and job training, English as a second language classes, interpreting services, legal and immigration services, and victim compensation;
(6) evaluate various approaches used by state and local governments to increase public awareness of the trafficking in persons, including United States citizens and foreign national victims of trafficking in persons;
(7) mandatory training for law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and other relevant officials in addressing trafficking in persons;
(8) collect and periodically publish statistical data on trafficking, that must be posted on the Attorney General's website;
(9) prepare public awareness programs designed to educate potential victims of trafficking in persons and their families on the risks of victimization. These public awareness programs must include, but are not limited to:
(a) information about the risks of becoming a victim, including information about common recruitment techniques, use of debt bondage, and other coercive tactics, risk of maltreatment, rape, exposure to HIV or AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and psychological harm related to victimization in trafficking cases;
(b) information about the risks of engaging in commercial sex and possible punishment;
(c) information about victims' rights in the State;
(d) methods for reporting suspected recruitment activities; and
(e) information on hotlines and available victims' services; and
(10) preparation and dissemination of awareness materials to the general public to educate the public on the extent of trafficking in persons, both United States citizens and foreign nationals, within the United States and to discourage the demand that fosters the exploitation of persons that leads to trafficking in persons.
(a) The general public awareness materials may include information on the impact of trafficking on individual victims, whether United States citizens or foreign nationals, aggregate information on trafficking in persons worldwide and domestically, and warnings of the criminal consequences of engaging in trafficking in persons. These materials may include pamphlets, brochures, posters, advertisements in mass media, and other appropriate media. All materials must be designed to communicate to the target population.
(b) Materials described in this section may include information on the impact of trafficking in persons on individual victims. However, information on the experiences of individual victims must preserve the privacy of the victim and the victim's family.
(c) All public awareness programs must be evaluated periodically by the task force to ensure their effectiveness.
Section 16-3-2060. (A) A person who is a victim of trafficking in persons may bring a civil action in the court of common pleas. The court may award actual damages, compensatory damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, and other appropriate relief. A prevailing plaintiff also must be awarded attorney's fees and costs. Treble damages must be awarded on proof of actual damages when the defendant's acts were wilful and malicious.
(B) Pursuant to Section 16-3-1110, the applicable statute of limitations for a crime victim who has a cause of action against an incarcerated offender is tolled and does not expire until three years after the offender's sentence is completed, including probation and parole, or three years after release from commitment pursuant to Chapter 48, Title 44, whichever is later. However, this provision does not shorten any other tolling period of the statute of limitations which may exist for the victim.
(C) The statute of limitations for the filing of a civil suit does not begin to run until a minor victim has reached the age of majority.
(D) If a victim entitled to sue is under a disability at the time the cause of action accrues, so that it is impossible or impractical for him to bring an action, then the time of the disability is not part of the time limited for the commencement of the action. Disability includes, but is not limited to, insanity, imprisonment, or other incapacity or incompetence.
(E) The running of the statute of limitations may be suspended when a victim could not have reasonably discovered the cause of action due to circumstances resulting from the trafficking situation, such as psychological trauma, cultural and linguistic isolation, and the inability to access services.
(F) A defendant is estopped to assert a defense of the statute of limitations when the expiration of the statute is due to conduct by the defendant inducing the victim to delay the filing of the action or placing the victim under duress.
Section 16-3-2070. (A) Victims of trafficking in persons pursuant to this article are considered victims for purposes of the Victims' Bill of Rights and are entitled to all appropriate forms of compensation available pursuant to the State Crime Victim's Compensation Fund in accordance with the provisions of Article 13, Chapter 3, Title 16. Victims of trafficking in persons pursuant to this article also are entitled to the rights provided in Article 15, Chapter 3, Title 16.
(B) In addition to the provisions of subsection (A), in a prosecution for violations of the criminal provisions of this article, the identity of the victim and the victim's family must be kept confidential by ensuring that names and identifying information of the victim and victim's family are not released to the public, including by the defendant.
(C) Pursuant to Section 16-3-1240, it is unlawful, except for purposes directly connected with the administration of the victim's compensation fund, for any person to solicit, disclose, receive, or make use of or authorize, knowingly permit, participate in or acquiesce in the use of any list, or names of, or information concerning persons applying for or receiving awards without the written consent of the applicant or recipient. The records, papers, files, and communications of the board, its panel and the director and his staff must be regarded as confidential information and privileged and not subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act as contained in Chapter 3, Title 30.
Section 16-3-2080. (A) For purposes of this section:
(1) 'Domestic violence shelter' means a facility whose purpose is to serve as a shelter to receive and house persons who are victims of criminal domestic violence and that provides services as a shelter.
(2) 'Trafficking shelter' means a confidential location which provides emergency housing for victims of trafficking in persons.
(3) 'Grounds' means the real property of the parcel of land upon which a domestic violence or trafficking shelter or a domestic violence or trafficking shelter's administrative offices are located, whether fenced or unfenced.
(B) A person who maliciously or with criminal negligence publishes, disseminates, or otherwise discloses the location of a trafficking victim, a trafficking shelter, a domestic violence shelter, or another place designated as a trafficking shelter or domestic violence shelter, without the authorization of that trafficking victim, trafficking shelter, or domestic violence shelter, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than three years.
(C) It is unlawful for a person who has been charged with or convicted of a violation of Section 16-3-2020 to enter or remain upon the grounds or structure of a domestic violence or trafficking shelter in which the victim resides or the domestic violence shelter's administrative offices or the trafficking shelter's administrative offices.
(D) The domestic violence shelter and trafficking shelter must post signs at conspicuous places on the grounds of the domestic violence shelter, trafficking shelter, the domestic violence shelter's administrative offices, and the trafficking shelter's administrative offices which, at a minimum, must read substantially as follows: 'NO TRESPASSING - VIOLATORS WILL BE SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PENALTIES'.
(E) This section does not apply if the person has legitimate business or any authorization, license, or invitation to enter or remain upon the grounds or structure of the domestic violence or trafficking shelter or the domestic violence or trafficking shelter's administrative offices.
(F) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than three thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than three years, or both. If the person is in possession of a dangerous weapon at the time of the violation, the person is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both."
SECTION 2. Section 16-3-930 of the 1976 Code is repealed.
SECTION 3. The repeal or amendment by this act of any law, whether temporary or permanent or civil or criminal, does not affect pending actions, rights, duties, or liabilities founded thereon, or alter, discharge, release or extinguish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under the repealed or amended law, unless the repealed or amended provision shall so expressly provide. After the effective date of this act, all laws repealed or amended by this act must be taken and treated as remaining in full force and effect for the purpose of sustaining any pending or vested right, civil action, special proceeding, criminal prosecution, or appeal existing as of the effective date of this act, and for the enforcement of rights, duties, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities as they stood under the repealed or amended laws.
SECTION 4. If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.
SECTION 5. This act takes effect one hundred eighty days after approval by the Governor.
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