Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln told a legislative committee on Wednesday that her measure would send a strong message to people engaged in human trafficking. New sentences would range from one year in prison for trafficking an adult to life in prison for trafficking a minor younger than 16.
It’s the latest in a series of steps Nebraska has taken in the past few years to curtail human trafficking. Supporters including the Nebraska Attorney General’s office say it combats trafficking by penalizing buyers and sellers while protecting victims.
The Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association opposes the bill. Lobbyist Spike Eickholt says the higher penalties could affect innocent defendants who are found guilty.