Human Trafficking Definitions

According to the Michigan Department of Health And Human Resources, Human trafficking impacts people all over the world and right here in Michigan. Besides drugs, Human trafficking is the second biggest criminal enterprise. It negatively impacts people regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity and socio-economic backgrounds.

Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery that allows some people to profit from controlling and exploiting other human beings. Once force or fraud is used to take control of another human being and then exploit that human being for sexual acts of soliciting labor or services against their will. Victims of these acts include adults, children and sometimes older people.

Sex trafficking has been found in a wide variety of venues such as residential brothels,  fake massage businesses, strip clubs, escort services and street prostitution.  Minors under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex are considered victims of human trafficking.

Labor trafficking has been found in many labor settings, such as hotels, massage parlors, including domestic work in hotels, massage parlors, nail salons, small businesses, large farms, and factories. Under Michigan law, if a minor under the age of 18 is being forced into labor, they are considered victims of human trafficking.

DID YOU KNOW?

    • Violations of the Human trafficking statute are punishable by up to ten years to life imprisonment and $10,000 to $50,000 in fines.
    • Penalties may be increased if the trafficking involves kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, forced labor or a commercial sex act of a minor, an attempt to kill or death.
    • Other crimes may be charged in conjunction with human trafficking.
    • Human trafficking convictions may be ordered to be served consecutively with other convictions.
    • Human trafficking can be used as an underlying crime for a charge of racketeering, also known as ‘conducting criminal enterprises,’ a 20-year felony.
    • Property used in the commission of human trafficking may be subject to seizure and forfeiture.
    • Sex trafficking of a minor triggers Sex Offender registration
    • Enhanced restitution may be available to victims of trafficking, including:
      • Lost income;
      • The cost of transportation, temporary housing, and child care expenses incurred by the victim because of the offense;
      • Attorney fees and other costs and expenses incurred by the victim; and,
      • Any other loss suffered by the victim as a result of the offense.

The above was taken from the website of the Michigan Attorney General

This is federal law regarding human trafficking found here.

18 U.S.C. § 1591. Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion
(a) Whoever knowingly—
(1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, or within the special maritime and territorial
jurisdiction of the United States, recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, obtains, or
maintains by any means a person; or
(2) benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, from participation in a venture
which has engaged in an act described in violation of paragraph (1),
knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact, that means of force, threats of force, fraud, coercion
described in subsection (e)(2), or any combination of such means will be used to cause the
person to engage in a commercial sex act, or that the person has not attained the age of 18 years
and will be caused to engage in a commercial sex act, shall be punished as provided in
subsection (b).
(b) The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) is—
(1) if the offense was effected by means of force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion described
in subsection (e)(2), or by any combination of such means, or if the person recruited, enticed,
harbored, transported, provided, or obtained had not attained the age of 14 years at the time of
such offense, by a fine under this title and imprisonment for any term of years not less than 15 or
for life; or
(2) if the offense was not so affected, and the person recruited, enticed, harbored, transported,
provided, or obtained had attained the age of 14 years but had not attained the age of 18 years at
the time of such offense, by a fine under this title and imprisonment for not less than 10 years or
for life.
(c) In a prosecution under subsection (a)(1) in which the defendant had a reasonable opportunity
to observe the person so recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained or
maintained, the Government need not prove that the defendant knew that the person had not
attained the age of 18 years.
(d) Whoever obstructs, attempts to obstruct, or in any way interferes with or prevents the
enforcement of this section, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for a term not to exceed 20
years, or both.
– 2 –
(e) In this section:
(1) The term “abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process” means the use or threatened
use of a law or legal process, whether administrative, civil, or criminal, in any manner or for any
purpose for which the law was not designed, in order to exert pressure on another person to cause
that person to take some action or refrain from taking some action.
(2) The term “coercion” means—
(A) threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person;
(B) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform
an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or
(C) the abuse or threatened abuse of law or the legal process.
(3) The term “commercial sex act” means any sex act, on account of which anything of value is
given to or received by any person.
(4) The term “serious harm” means any harm, whether physical or nonphysical, including
psychological, financial, or reputational harm, that is sufficiently serious, under all the
surrounding circumstances, to compel a reasonable person of the same background and in the
same circumstances to perform or to continue performing commercial sexual activity in order to
avoid incurring that harm.
(5) The term “venture” means any group of two or more individuals associated in fact, whether
or not a legal entity

The charges listed above are charges that are taken very seriously by all local prosecutors and federal prosecutors. If you are facing charges related to human trafficking, you need to call Shawn now at 616-438-6719! The call is free, will you be?

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