[This news release comes from State Sen. Fran Pavley.]
The California State Legislature unanimously approved State Senator Fran Pavley’s (D-Agoura Hills) Senate Bill 1091, a bill to help increase convictions of perpetrators against children and other vulnerable victims by helping them testify without fear.
SB 1091, sponsored by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, is now before Governor Jerry Brown awaiting final action. The bill was approved last week in the State Assembly and has moved through both houses of the California State Legislature on unanimous, bi-partisan votes. Senator Pavley’s bill, jointly authored by Senator Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance), has the support of the California District Attorneys Association.
The proposed legislation will provide trial assistance for victims of child pornography, pimping, pandering and for sex trafficking. Current law allows trial assistance for crime victims testifying for preliminary exams; trials involving homicide, elder and dependent abuse; rape and most crimes, but it does not include the assistance for certain sex crimes against minors and other victims.
Senator Pavley said, “Victims in child pornography cases are in need of protection and the comfort of a support person. If they are called to testify, they have to recall horrific and traumatic experiences. Being involved in a case as a victim or witness is intimidating and stressful for adults; children find it even more terrifying.”
According to the bill’s sponsor, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, this bill could help in the prosecution of approximately 126 pornography cases, 97 prostitution cases and 3 human trafficking cases in just Los Angeles County.
In addition to the bill’s sponsor, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, other supporters include the California Police Chiefs Association, California Communities United Institute, California Victims United of California, the Junior Leagues of California and the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking.
Governor Brown has until Tuesday, July 17 at midnight to sign, veto or allow SB 1091 to become law without his signature.