Office of Delegate Rob Bell Press Release
RICHMOND, VA, February 11, 2014 – Today, the Virginia House of Delegates passed two bills by Delegate Rob Bell, R-Albemarle, to address human trafficking in Virginia.
The first, HB 235, would order those who are convicted of soliciting an underage prostitute to be placed on Virginia’s online sex offender registry.
“The men who pay money for children are the reason we have underage prostitution,” Bell said. “According to the Department of Justice, the average age that a child is first exploited through prostitution is 13-years-old. If someone does this, he is endangering children – I think it is entirely appropriate that they be placed on the registry.”
HB 235 passed 94-5.
The second, HB 660, would enable prosecutors to file for the forfeiture of money and other assets that can be traced to the profits of prostitution and human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a $9.8 billion industry in the United States,” Bell said. “Organized crime and others commit this crime for the money. By attacking the financial incentives, we can reduce the sex trade.”
HB 660 passed 92-7.