Human Trafficking Bill to Protect Victim Privacy and Fast Track Cases Passes Assembly Judiciary Committee

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) made the following statement after his AB 2498 passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee with strong bipartisan support. The bill is part of Bonta's multi-year effort to confront the human trafficking epidemic by protecting victims and bringing exploiters and buyers to justice.

“Human trafficking is a horrifying and growing epidemic in California," Bonta explained. "We have an obligation to do everything we can to protect victims and ensure justice for them and their families. AB 2498 supports that goal by strengthening privacy protections and supporting our courts in bringing exploiters to justice."

AB 2498 will protect human trafficking victims’ privacy and the privacy of their immediate family members by shielding the names, addresses and images of victims and their immediate family members from public exposure. The bill will also expedite the prosecution of exploiters and buyers involved in human trafficking by fast tracking those cases on the trial calendar.

In 2014, 75 percent of California’s human trafficking cases were related to sex trafficking, and the San Francisco Bay Area has been named by the FBI as one of the top 13 hot spots in the nation for child sex trafficking. The issue hits home for Bonta who represents Oakland, a city that has consistently ranked as a hot spot for human trafficking.

"I am proud to have the support of my fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle. Together, we will send a strong message and a strong bill to Governor Brown for his signature," Bonta concluded.

The bill will now move to the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protections Committee.

Assemblymember Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. Bonta Chairs the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee and the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color. He is also a member of the following committees: Appropriations, Budget, Budget Subcommittee No. 1 on Health and Human Services, Government Organization, Joint Legislative Budget, and Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management.