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§ 97-3-54.1. Human Trafficking Act; Prohibited Conduct; Penalty

(1) (a) A person who coerces, recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides or obtains by any means, or attempts to coerce, recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide or obtain by any means, another person, intending or knowing that the person will be subjected to forced labor or services, or who benefits, whether financially or by receiving anything of value from participating in an enterprise that he knows or reasonably should have known has engaged in such acts, shall be guilty of the crime of human-trafficking.

(b) A person who knowingly purchases the forced labor or services of a trafficked person or who otherwise knowingly subjects, or attempts to subject, another person to forced labor or services or who benefits, whether financially or by receiving anything of value from participating in an enterprise that he knows or reasonably should have known has engaged in such acts, shall be guilty of the crime of procuring involuntary servitude.

(c) A person who knowingly subjects, or attempts to subject, or who recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides or obtains by any means, or attempts to recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide or obtain by any means, a minor, knowing that the minor will engage in commercial sexual activity, sexually explicit performance, or the production of sexually oriented material, or causes or attempts to cause a minor to engage in commercial sexual activity, sexually explicit performance, or the production of sexually oriented material, shall be guilty of procuring sexual servitude of a minor and shall be punished by commitment to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than five (5) nor more than thirty (30) years, or by a fine of not less than Fifty Thousand Dollars ($ 50,000.00) nor more than Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($ 500,000.00), or both. It is not a defense in a prosecution under this section that a minor consented to engage in the commercial sexual activity, sexually explicit performance, or the production of sexually oriented material, or that the defendant reasonably believed that the minor was eighteen (18) years of age or older.

(2) If the victim is not a minor, a person who is convicted of an offense set forth in subsection (1)(a) or (b) of this section shall be committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than two (2) years nor more than twenty (20) years, or by a fine of not less than Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00) nor more than One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($ 100,000.00), or both. If the victim of the offense is a minor, a person who is convicted of an offense set forth in subsection (1)(a) or (b) of this section shall be committed to the custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than five (5) years nor more than twenty (20) years, or by a fine of not less than Twenty Thousand Dollars ($ 20,000.00) nor more than One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($ 100,000.00), or both.

(3) An enterprise may be prosecuted for an offense under this chapter if:

(a) An agent of the enterprise knowingly engages in conduct that constitutes an offense under this chapter while acting within the scope of employment and for the benefit of the entity.

(b) An employee of the enterprise engages in conduct that constitutes an offense under this chapter and the commission of the offense was part of a pattern of illegal activity for the benefit of the enterprise, which an agent of the enterprise either knew was occurring or recklessly disregarded, and the agent failed to take effective action to stop the illegal activity.

(c) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution of an enterprise that the enterprise had in place adequate procedures, including an effective complaint procedure, designed to prevent persons associated with the enterprise from engaging in the unlawful conduct and to promptly correct any violations of this chapter.

(d) The court may consider the severity of the enterprise's offense and order penalties, including: (i) a fine of not more than One Million Dollars ($ 1,000,000.00); (ii) disgorgement of profit; and (iii) debarment from government contracts. Additionally, the court may order any of the relief provided in Section 97-3-54.7.

(4) In addition to the mandatory reporting provisions contained in Section 97-5-51, any person who has reasonable cause to suspect that a minor under the age of eighteen (18) is a trafficked person shall immediately make a report of the suspected child abuse or neglect to the Department of Human Services and to the Statewide Human Trafficking Coordinator. The Department of Human Services shall then immediately notify the law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction where the suspected child abuse or neglect occurred as required in Section 43-21-353, and the department shall also commence an initial investigation into the suspected abuse or neglect as required in Section 43-21-353. A minor who has been identified as a victim of trafficking shall not be liable for criminal activity in violation of this section.

(5) It is an affirmative defense in a prosecution under this act that the defendant:

(a) Is a victim; and

(b) Committed the offense under a reasonable apprehension created by a person that, if the defendant did not commit the act, the person would inflict serious harm on the defendant, a member of the defendant's family, or a close associate. SOURCES: Laws, 2006, ch. 583, § 3; Laws, 2013, ch. 543, § 2; Laws, 2016, ch. 362 § 3, eff from and after passage (approved Apr. 6, 2016.)

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Local Government
Mississippi
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Phil Bryant
Phil Bryant
January 10, 2012 -
Republican
1-601-351-5023
200 South Lamar, Suite 800, Jackson, MS, 39201

Keywords
enterprise
minor
activity
sexual
offense
services
age
engage
human
conduct