What does VICTIM of human trafficking mean to you?
A victim of human trafficking is someone, male or female, adult or child, who is, by force, fraud, or coercion (mental or physical), subjected to do something they would not otherwise do, for little or no pay. A victim of human trafficking will have directly suffered psychological, spiritual, and/or physical harm through manipulative subjugation. A human can be trafficked for labor, sexual exploitation, or organs. A victim of human trafficking does not have to move from one place to another, but can be exploited in the very same space. A victim is coerced, mentally or physically, and forced into giving their life resources for another’s unjust benefit. A victim is a result of a system of violated human rights.
What does SURVIVOR of human trafficking mean to you?
A survivor of human trafficking is someone who has exited their dire situation (whether it is labor, sex, or organ related) by leaving, escaping, or being rescued. A survivor, after exiting, works, through service providers or other means, to establish a new and healthy life. A survivor may be of little or no means, documented or undocumented, male or female, child or adult. A survivor seeks to revitalize both mentally, spiritually, and/or physically. A survivor is in serious need of support by family, friends, the community, and service providers. A survivor has lived to seek justice for the crimes committed against them by regenerating a healthy lifestyle, releasing themselves from the clinging mental and psychological bonds, becoming an advocate, and/or seeking legal justice. A survivor is capable and working towards even greater freedom.
What does Re-Integrated person of human trafficking mean to you?
A re-integrated person of human trafficking is now a thriver in society. A thriver is no longer a victim or survivor of human trafficking. A thriver transitioned from a life of exploitation and a life of need and mental/spiritual/physical healing to become an independent, self-sufficient, and flourishing human being. A thriver has established healthy relationships within a community of people and operates in society in their own contributing niche. As a thriver, a history of human trafficking is recognized and acknowledged but no longer dictates how one interacts or operates in life. A thriver is actively engaged in achieving goals and dreams, big or little. A thriver has come full circle and become an indicator for hope and joy.
By: Mollie Ah Sing; Point Loma Nazarene Center for Justice and Reconciliation-Intern at BSCC
Posted in Uncategorized Jun 11
NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – June 10, 2014
SAN DIEGO – A Spring Valley college student was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Huff today to 10 years in prison in connection with child pornography charges.
Anthony Michael Gonzales, 23, pleaded guilty in December 2013 to a single count of Receipt of Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution to a victim and register as a sex offender upon release from prison.
According to a complaint, from October 2011 through March of 2012, agents with Homeland Security Investigations identified an Internet Protocol address on a peer-to-peer file sharing program that was trading in files suspected of containing child pornography. The agents tracked the Internet Protocol address to Gonzales’ residence, which was located in Spring Valley, California.
In May 2012, the agents executed a search warrant on the residence and seized Gonzales’ laptop computer, which had the user name “Metatron.” A forensic examination uncovered approximately 170 videos and 22,300 images suspected of containing child pornography. On review of a sampling of at least 883 of the thousands of images, agents determined six of those images included bondage of children.
There also were images involving children who appeared to be under two years old. One DVD had approximately 100 images of child pornography. At the time of his subsequent arrest, Gonzales was a 23-year-old student who possessed a thumb drive that also contain additional images of child pornography.
DEFENDANT Case Number 13CR3108-H
Anthony Michael Gonzales Spring Valley, CA
Count 4 – Title 18, United States Code, Section 2252(a)(2) Receipt of Images of Minors Engaged in Sexually Explicit Conduct. Maximum penalties: Five year mandatory minimum, 20 year maximum, restitution, $250,000 fine
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
Posted in Uncategorized Mar 07
Posted in Uncategorized Feb 06
SACRAMENTO – Senator Marty Block (SD-39) recently introduced legislation, SB 939, which would streamline prosecution of human trafficking charges and help victims avoid the trauma of testifying in multiple jurisdictions against their traffickers.
SB 939 would permit the consolidation of serial human trafficking, pimping, and pandering charges into a single trial if all the involved jurisdictions agree. Frequently, victims are taken to multiple cities and counties for labor and commercial sex exploitation. Prosecution involves trials in each of the multiple locations where the crimes occurred. Current law allows for the consolidation of other serial sexual offenses occurring in multiple jurisdictions.
“Human trafficking is among the most despicable and odious of crimes because traffickers treat victims as property to be used and sold,” Block said. “SB 939 will save money for our court system and will eliminate the need for victims, witnesses, and defendants to travel to multiple counties to testify in court proceedings. Currently, victims must travel to each jurisdiction where the crimes occurred and testify multiple times in front of their traffickers. Multiple trials only repeat the trauma.”
While in the Assembly, Block successfully authored a measure to help stem human trafficking, AB 2212, which allows local law enforcement to shut down sites engaged in human trafficking as a per se nuisance. It also allows financial penalties to be levied against the property owners of the sites to help fund programs for victims. Last year, he introduced SB 473 which would add human trafficking to the list of crimes used to define a criminal street gang under the Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act to ensure that the prosecution and punishment of gang members exploiting human lives is comparable to the prosecution of gang members engaged in robbery and narcotic sales.
SB 939 is co-sponsored by the District Attorneys of Riverside, San Diego, Alameda and Orange Counties.
Posted in Uncategorized May 10
Bill to Protect Sexually Exploited Children Moves Forward
SB 738 to keep exploited children out of juvenile detention
SACRAMENTO – Today, the Senate Human Services Committee voted 6-0 in favor of Senate Bill (SB) 738, to protect commercially sexually exploited children from being wrongfully imprisoned.
Currently, when law enforcement encounters children forced into prostitution, they are arrested despite being under the age of consent. This often results in children being put onto juvenile probation or into juvenile detention.
“Children who are sexually exploited for money are victims” said author Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) “They should not be treated like criminals.”
A review of 267 cases of commercially sexually exploited children in Alameda County found that, 41% of the children had been in foster care, while 67% had been in juvenile probation.
SB 738 would set up an interagency workgroup with the California Child Welfare Council and the California Health and Human Services Agency to develop a plan to serve and protect sexually exploited and trafficked minors.
SB 738 would also clarify that a child who has been sexually exploited falls under a court’s dependency system, and will provide a training course for foster parents and group home administrators on the best ways to care for a child who had been sexually exploited.
“SB 738 will help California create a victim-centered response to combating child sex trafficking by ensuring that children who are sexually exploited have access to appropriate care and services rather than continually being treated as criminals” said Kate Case, an organizing and advocacy fellow at International Justice Mission. “This bill also provides training to better serve and care for child trafficking survivors, as well as new protections to prevent the crime in the first place.
“No child who is trafficked chose their situation. They are trapped in it” said Yee. “We should give these young people an opportunity to heal and grow, not entrap them in the criminal justice system for the actions committed against them.”
The bill will next be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee.Posted in Uncategorized