Okla. panel OKs bill to shield prostituted minors

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Associated Press

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 1:04 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 22 at 3:00 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma Senate committee has advanced a measure that would create the legal presumption that minors picked up by law enforcement for prostitution are victims of human trafficking and won't be charged.

The Senate Committee on Public Safety approved the bill without opposition Thursday. It now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

The bill specifically says 16- and 17-year-olds suspected of prostitution will be presumed to be coerced into sex trafficking. The House approved the measure earlier this month. Sen. AJ Griffin of Guthrie is carrying the proposal in the Senate.

Griffin's bill also requires law officers to give certain information, including a trafficking hotline number, to those they believe are human trafficking victims.

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