Human trafficking to stay a misdemeanor in Maryland

Human trafficking to stay a misdemeanor in Maryland

If you’ve been accused of kidnapping someone or are being investigated
as part of a rape or sex crime scandal, then you may be interested to
know that while many rape-related crimes are felonies, human trafficking
is not. Despite the fact that human trafficking is well-known in Maryland,
which is known as a hot-spot for the crime, it has not yet reached felony
status. That means those who are accused can only receive a misdemeanor,
even though people in assault or rape cases could be penalized via a felony.

While some people may argue that human trafficking is something that should
be a felony under law, that’s not going to be the case in Maryland,
according to news from March 26. Human trafficking, which involves slavery
and potentially rape or assault, is classified as being a misdemeanor
in Maryland.

So what makes this crime so different than others that could easily become
felonies in the state? The bill that would have made it a felony was worded
in a way that may have made prostitution a felony. That’s not something
the state was comfortable with.

The failure of the new bill to pass will mean that little can be done to
force the crime to become a felony this year. The bill is expected to
make a comeback in 2016, and if it has the right wording and designations,
it may pass.

For those who could be charged with this potential felony, the line could
be blurred. Pimps, who essentially run prostitution rings, could be accused
of human trafficking, but human trafficking itself involves selling people
to others as sex slaves or servants, as the case may be.

Source: ABC News 2, “Maryland Senate rejects bill to make human trafficking
a felony,” March. 26, 2015