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State of Oklahoma

Posted: Aug 22, 2017 5:16 PMUpdated: Aug 22, 2017 5:16 PM

Attorney General Joins Coalition Against Sex Trafficking

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Ben Nicholas

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter joined a bi-partisan coalition last week of 49 attorneys general urging Congress to affirm that all law-enforcement agencies retain their traditional authority to fight sex trafficking.


In a letter to Congress, the attorneys general ask representatives to amend the Communications Decency Act to clarify that states, localities and territories retain authority to investigate and prosecute facilitators of child sex trafficking wherever they operate, including online through websites like Backpage.com.


According to the attorneys general, the CDA is being used as a shield by those who profit from prostitution and crimes against children.


In part, the letter reads – “federal enforcement alone has proved insufficient to stem the growth in online promotion of child sex trafficking. Those on the front lines of the battle against the sexual exploitation of children – state and local law enforcement – must have clear authority to investigate and prosecute facilitators of these and other horrible crimes.”


In some cases, courts have interpreted certain provisions of the CDA to provide immunity from state prosecution to online classified ad sites, such as Backpage.com, that promote and profit from human trafficking.


In addition to Oklahoma, the following states and territories signed the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

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