Bill to combat human trafficking in hotels and motels signed into law

Bill will allow attorneys to penalize hotel and motel owners if supervisors knew or willfully ignored victims were trafficked

– Today, Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) announced that his bill to combat human trafficking in hotels and motels has been signed into law.

Specifically, AB 1788 will allow city attorneys and district attorneys to impose civil penalties on hotel and motel owners if supervisors knew or willfully ignored that victims were trafficked and did not contact neither law enforcement, nor a support group for victims of trafficking, nor the national anti-trafficking agency. hotline.

“Human trafficking is the fastest growing crime in the United States, and it’s happening right here on the Central Coast,” said Cunningham, a former San Luis Obispo County prosecutor. “AB 1788 will give local prosecutors another tool to rescue victims of trafficking and punish those who attempt to provide traffickers with a safe haven. I am grateful for the Governor’s support of this important bill, and happy to give law enforcement another resource to stop trafficking and save lives.

AB 1788 has been supported by Crime Victims United, Children’s Advocacy Institute, California State Sheriffs’ Association, California District Attorneys’ Association, Concerned Women for America, American Association of University Women and other public interest groups and law enforcement.

Since his first election in 2016, Cunningham has placed the fight against human trafficking at the heart of his legislative platform. During his legislative career, Cunningham has drafted several anti-human trafficking bills that increase victims’ access to services and increase the types of tools available to law enforcement to prosecute traffickers and the Johns. In addition to AB 1788, five of Cunningham’s anti-human trafficking bills were signed into law.

• AB 1735 (2018): grants victims of human trafficking the possibility of receiving a protection order of up to 10 years against the aggressors.
• AB 1736 (2018): allows prior statements of victims of trafficking and other witnesses to be presented at trial in specific circumstances.
• AB 1868 (2018): Allows schools to include curriculum on the dangers of sending sexually explicit material on social media and cell phones.
• AB 662 (2019): Gives law enforcement another tool to shut down trafficking hotspots, like massage parlours, and gives judges the ability to require convicted Johns to register as offenders sexual.
• AB 2130 (2022): would require emergency medical technicians and paramedics to undergo human trafficking awareness training to recognize the signs of human trafficking.

Asm. Suzette Martinez Valladares (R-Santa Clarita) was co-author of AB 1788. Asm. Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Asm. Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel) and Asm. Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) co-wrote the bill. The new law comes into force on January 1, 2023.

Assemblyman Cunningham is a small business owner, former school board member and prosecutor, husband and father of four. It represents all of San Luis Obispo County and part of Santa Barbara County including Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Cambria, Paso Robles, Grover Beach, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Nipomo, Orcutt, Pismo Beach, Templeton, San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria, and surrounding communities.

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