Gov. Passes Bill to Aid Prosecution of Human Traffickers - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Gov. Passes Bill to Aid Prosecution of Human Traffickers

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Governor Bob McDonnell Governor Bob McDonnell

A new bill to try and better protect women in Virginia has been signed into law by Governor Bob McDonnell.

Designed to help keep women from being forced into a form of sexual slavery, the bill was penned and sponsored by Delegate Rob Bell (R) 58th District. The law makes it easier for prosecutors to investigate criminals who lure young women across county lines.

Now, a multi-jurisdictional jury will be able to investigate a person accused of receiving money for procuring another person. Bell says human trafficking is a rapidly growing crime that tends to go across jurisdictional boundaries. He says this law recognizes human trafficking cases aren't usually contained in just one county.

"This is not a single armed robbery that, of course, takes place at a store in a county and all you need is the one county to look at it. This is a girl who's grown up unhappy in one county and the guy is from another county and he takes her to a third place and he moves her to a fourth place and then a fifth place," Bell said. "The whole point of it is to get them out of the county where they have friends and family."

McDonnell signed the bill into law on the heels of the announcement that an Augusta County teenager may be the victim of human trafficking involving a man from Arlington.

Bell says the next step is to look at the penalties involved in these cases, and to decide whether they are harsh enough.

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