MADISON… Law enforcement officials would have more weapons to combat sex crimes under legislation passed by the State Senate today that aims to prevent sex trafficking and extend the statute of limitations for 2nd degree sexual assault.
“According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted,” said State Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere), co- author of the bills. “We can, and must, do more to protect hundreds of potential victims from being sexually assaulted each day.”
The Human Trafficking Prevention Act (Senate Bill 836)
Sen. Jacque said human trafficking is a significant concern in Wisconsin, with reports in all 72 counties and corridors crisscrossing our state, and Milwaukee considered a hub for this criminal activity.
“Victims of human trafficking, especially women, are often forced into sexual servitude, which may involve prostitution under the guise of an escort service or working in a strip club,” Sen. Jacque said. “Pimps then traffic these individuals around the state or across state lines, capitalizing on the high demand for these services, the cash nature of the business, and the anonymity of the participants.”
Sen. Jacque said this bill would ban anyone convicted of certain human trafficking or sex offenses from owning or operating adult establishments, and bans employment of anyone under the age of 18. Further, the bill requires clubs to post a human trafficking poster on the premises and to provide a list of all employees, operators, and owners to local law enforcement officials upon request.
Extending the statute of limitations for second-degree sexual assault (Senate Bill 787)
Sen. Jacque said that currently, arbitrary criminal statutes of limitations limit victims’ access to justice and the ability to take rapists off the streets. This measure extends Wisconsin’s current 10-year statute of limitations for 2nd degree felony sexual assault – one of the shorter in the nation – to 20 years. This Class C felony is defined as forcible sexual contact or intercourse under several conditions without the victim’s consent.
“Advancements in technology have given police and prosecutors more tools that render the current 10-year statute of limitation obsolete, including DNA, cell phone video and audio recordings,” Sen. Jacque said. “These advancements allow victims the additional time they deserve to see justice done and hold their attackers accountable.”
The sex crime prevention measures must now pass the Assembly and be signed by the Governor to become law.
Senator André Jacque represents Northeast Wisconsin’s First Senate District, consisting of Door and Kewaunee Counties and portions of Brown, Calumet, Manitowoc, and Outagamie counties.