Victims, Not Criminals: Exempting and Immunizing Children Subjected to Sex Trafficking from Prosecution for Prostitution

38 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2016 Last revised: 8 Feb 2016

See all articles by Darian Etienne

Darian Etienne

University of Mississippi, School of Law, Students

Date Written: 2016

Abstract

Over the years the sale of human beings has surpassed the illegal sale of arms and is expected to surpass the illegal sale of drugs soon. It is a major issue in the United States with up to 300,000 children in danger of entering the commercial child sex trade. Even though there are many states with some protective laws, there are many states with no laws in place to protect the children from bring prosecuted for prostitution, even though they are victims of sex trafficking.

This article argues for reform to protect these children from prosecution. It argues that children under the age of consent should be understood to be exempt from prosecution for prostitution because they cannot consent to sex and therefore they cannot commit the crime. Just like a child cannot assist in her own statutory rape, she cannot sell her own statutory rape. It further argues that minors above the legal age of consent should be given immunity through a rebuttable presumption that they are victims of sex trafficking.

Suggested Citation

Etienne, Darian, Victims, Not Criminals: Exempting and Immunizing Children Subjected to Sex Trafficking from Prosecution for Prostitution (2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2726334 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2726334

Darian Etienne (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi, School of Law, Students ( email )

MS 38677
United States

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