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Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks

Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks

District 28

LINCOLN, NE: Senator Patty Pansing Brooks introduced legislation today (LB 289) aimed at significantly increasing the penalties for human trafficking in Nebraska.

The legislation is the result of collaboration between Senator Pansing Brooks, Attorney General Doug Peterson, members of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force, and the Women’s Fund of Omaha. It is being introduced in conjunction with President Obama’s 2010 designation of January 11th as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and the Governor’s recent proclamation of January 2017 as Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The Nebraska Family Alliance is also supporting this legislation.

“The traffickers and purchasers who prey upon and enslave vulnerable individuals and children should be on notice. Nebraska will no longer tolerate their heinous conduct,” said Senator Pansing Brooks. “The chance of persecution and the severity of penalties will be increased should anyone contemplate abusing Nebraska’s most vulnerable again. Not in Nebraska. Not ever.”

Under the proposed legislation, the penalty for the trafficking of a minor is increased to a Class IC felony from a Class II, and the penalty for using force or the threat of force to coerce minors into human trafficking has increased from a IIA to a IB felony. The bill also increases penalties for anyone engaged in sex trafficking by inflicting physical harm or the threat thereof from a Class IIA to a ID felony, while the penalties for engaging in sex trafficking will increase from a Class III to a Class II felony. Further, the penalty for anyone who solicits a victim of sex trafficking will be guilty of a Class II felony, up from a Class III felony.
“As Nebraskans recognize the existence of human trafficking in our state, increasing protections is a critical next step,” said Attorney General Doug Peterson, “This bill provides substantial progress in our commitment to fight human trafficking.”

Last year, Senator Pansing Brooks introduced LB 843, a bill that granted victims of human trafficking immunity from prosecution for prostitution. That bill made clear that those who are trafficked are victims and not criminals. The Governor signed the bill into law on April 13th, 2016.

Below are the Felony classifications under the Nebraska Criminal Code

28-105. Felonies; classification of penalties; sentences; where served; eligibility for probation.

(1) For purposes of the Nebraska Criminal Code and any statute passed by the Legislature after the date of passage of the code, felonies are divided into ten classes which are distinguished from one another by the following penalties which are authorized upon conviction:

Class I felony Death
Class IA felony Life imprisonment
Class IB felony Maximum — life imprisonment
Minimum — twenty years imprisonment
Class IC felony Maximum — fifty years imprisonment
Mandatory minimum — five years imprisonment
Class ID felony Maximum — fifty years imprisonment
Mandatory minimum — three years imprisonment
Class II felony Maximum — fifty years imprisonment
Minimum — one year imprisonment
Class IIA felony Maximum — twenty years imprisonment
Minimum — none
Class III felony Maximum — four years imprisonment and two years
post-release supervision or
twenty-five thousand dollars fine, or both
Minimum — none for imprisonment and nine months
post-release supervision if imprisonment is imposed
Class IIIA felony Maximum — three years imprisonment
and eighteen months post-release supervision or
ten thousand dollars fine, or both
Minimum — none for imprisonment and nine months
post-release supervision if imprisonment is imposed
Class IV felony Maximum — two years imprisonment and twelve
months post-release supervision or
ten thousand dollars fine, or both
Minimum — none for imprisonment and nine months
post-release supervision if imprisonment is imposed

Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks

District 28
Room #1206
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone: (402) 471-2633
Email: ppansingbrooks@leg.ne.gov
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