Lawmakers pass plan that would dismiss charges for human trafficking victims

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Human trafficking victims forced or coerced into prostitution could get certain criminal charges deferred or dismissed under a bill approved by the Michigan Legislature.

The state Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would allow some prostitution-related charges to be dropped regardless of any prior convictions.

State Rep. Bronna Kahle, R-Adrian, says currently human trafficking victims currently are not eligible for deferrals or dismissals if they have previous prostitution-related convictions.

Kahle is the bill’s sponsor and says it would change Michigan’s law and help victims lead better and more whole lives.

University of Michigan Human Trafficking Clinic Director Bridgette Carr says the legislation does not go far enough to address the issue of recognizing human trafficking victims as victims.

The bill now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk for signature.

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