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Governor Gordon signs new human trafficking penalties into law

Jennie and Gov. Mark Gordon before the State of the State speech. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon completed his first signing of bills which have passed the Wyoming Legislature this year on Thursday, March 5.

Among the 13 pieces of legislation which Gordon signed a bill into law which creates new penalties for repeat human trafficking convictions in Wyoming.

House District 44 Representative Sara Burlingame said on first reading of the bill in the House that it “does something simple.” She explained that it will add penalties for adults convicted on human trafficking charges after having been previously convicted on similar charges.

The bill will impose a minimum 25-year prison sentence on adults who have multiple felony convictions of human trafficking.

The minimum 25-year prison sentence is already imposed when trafficking of minors leads to a conviction.

The new repeat offender rules will apply to anyone convicted of human trafficking after the age of 18.

Under Wyoming law “a person is guilty of human trafficking in the first degree when the person intentionally or knowingly recruits, transports, transfers, harbors, receives, provides, obtains, isolates, maintains or entices an individual” for the following purposes:

  • Forced labor or servitude
  • Sexual servitude
  • Sexual servitude of a minor

Human trafficking is considered a second degree offense when “the person recklessly recruits, transports, transfers, harbors, receives, provides, obtains, isolates, maintains or entices an individual” for the above-named purposes.

First degree human trafficking can come with the following punishments for first time offenses:

  • imprisonment for a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 50 years
  • a minimum of 25 years in cases involving minors
  • fines up to $10,000

Second degree human trafficking can come with the following penalties:

  • imprisonment for a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 20 years
  • fines up to $10,000

Both first and second degree human trafficking are considered felonies.

Further details of the legislation is available online.

Other legislation which Gordon signed into law on Thursday included the following:

Bill No.Enrolled Act #Bill Title
HB0010HEA0001Human trafficking-penalty for subsequent conviction.
HB0009HEA0002Abstracts of court records.
HB0011HEA0003Qualified residential treatment programs.
HB0007HEA0004Commercial learner’s permits.
HB0039HEA0005Remote education within a school district.
HB0160HEA0006Background checks-state treasurer’s office.
HB0006HEA0009Commercial operators-registration and authority to operate.
HB0036HEA0010Pesticide registration fee.
HB0120HEA0011CHIP-state administration.
HB0136HEA0012Unclaimed property funds-investments.
SF0003SEA0001Military department authority to accept donations.
SF0011SEA0002Consumer protection act amendments.
SF0004SEA0003Wildlife conservation account.

Concerned about this or other legislation? An online hotline system allows Wyomingites to have messages delivered to legislators on issues they are concerned with.

This article originally appeared on Oil City News. Used with permission.