South Carolina Attorney General Wilson likened society’s reluctance to deal effectively with human trafficking to the response for too many years to domestic violence. “As a society, we look at it like we used to look at domestic violence — it was a dark, little secret nobody wanted to talk about,” Wilson said.
South Carolina’s new law defines human trafficking as any operation subjecting a person to forced sex, labor, involuntary servitude or debt bondage by using threats or coercion, blackmail, drugs or destruction of identification records. Those charged with trafficking in more than one county could also face the state grand jury, which can be used to gather more information for ongoing investigations. Victims’ character or past sexual experiences won’t be examined during a trial. A first-time conviction is a felony that can result in as many as 15 years in prison. A second conviction brings up to 30 years in prison. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up to 45 years in prison. An additional 15 years can be added if victims are younger than 18. The courts can seize assets from people convicted of trafficking, and the offender can be required to pay restitution to victims.
Learn more at the Island Packet article: Law helps shine light on dark crime.