WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), released the following statement today after President Trump signed into law the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 1865), which includes bipartisan legislation Cassidy cosponsored to ensure justice for victims of sex trafficking and crack down on websites that knowingly facilitate these crimes.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a 93-count federal indictment and the seizure of Backpage.com, a website known for prostitution ads and the facilitation of sex trafficking.
“Human trafficking is in Louisiana and it must be stopped,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This law makes it easier to hold websites accountable for helping sex traffickers. Backpage has been shut down—good. More criminals should be held accountable for emotionally and physically abusing women and children.”
The legislation would allow victims of sex trafficking to seek justice against websites that knowingly facilitated the crimes against them; eliminate federal liability protections for websites that assist, support, or facilitate a violation of federal sex trafficking laws; and enable state law enforcement officials, not just the federal Department of Justice, to take action against individuals or businesses that violate federal sex trafficking laws.
In February, Cassidy voted for the Secure and Succeed Act, legislation that would help stop human trafficking, money laundering and drug trafficking by securing our southern border.
In 2015, Cassidy introduced bipartisan legislation to help medical professionals identify and stop human trafficking. The legislation was included in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which President Obama signed into law in May 2015.