Bonta’s Human Trafficking Bill to Protect Victim Privacy and Fast Track Cases Sent to Governor

(Sacramento, CA) - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) made the following statement today after the Assembly sent his AB 2498 to the Governor with strong bipartisan support. The bill is part of Bonta's multi-year effort to combat the human trafficking epidemic by protecting victims and bringing exploiters and buyers to justice.

The issue hits home for Bonta, who represents the City of Oakland, which itself is a hot spot for human trafficking, and where Bonta has partnered with local governments and community organizations to address the challenge. "I've been working hard to combat the human trafficking epidemic in California, as my own District is on the frontlines of this fight. The San Francisco Bay Area in general and Oakland in particular are hard hit by the epidemic of human sex trafficking. The region has been named by the FBI as one of the top 13 hot spots in the nation and within our region for child sex trafficking.

"We have an obligation to do everything we can to protect victims and ensure justice for them and their families. AB 2498 moves us closer to that goal by strengthening privacy protections and streamlining justice.

AB 2498 will protect the privacy of human trafficking victims and their immediate family members by shielding their names, addresses and images from public exposure. The bill will also expedite the prosecution of exploiters and buyers involved in human trafficking by allowing judges to fast track cases on the trial calendar, quickly bringing exploiters and buyers to justice while helping victims heal from the traumatic experience.

"Today, we sent a strong message that California cares and a strong bill to Governor Brown for his signature," Bonta concluded.

The Governor has until September 30, 2016 to approve the bill.