[This news release comes from State Sen. Fran Pavley.]
Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1091 into law on Tuesday. The new law, authored by State Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), will increase convictions of perpetrators against children and other vulnerable victims by helping them testify without fear.
Senator Pavley said, “I am grateful for Governor’s signature on this bill. 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.”
SB 1091, sponsored by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office 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), was also supported by the California District Attorneys Association.
The new law provides trial assistance for victims of child pornography, pimping, pandering and for sex trafficking. Prior to Senator Pavley’s legislation, the law allowed trial assistance for crime victims testifying for preliminary exams; trials involving homicide, elder and dependent abuse; rape and most crimes, but it did not include the assistance for certain sex crimes against minors and other victims.
According to the bill’s sponsor, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, this new law will 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, supporters of the new law 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.
The law takes effect on January 1, 2013.