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Mar 21, 2018

Tester Votes to Empower Survivors of Human Trafficking, Bring Criminals to Justice

Senator Helps Pass the Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure Online Human Traffickers are Charged and Prosecuted

(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester today voted to empower survivors of human trafficking and bring criminals to justice.

Tester helped pass the bipartisan legislation to bring down the barriers that keep law enforcement officers from arresting and prosecuting criminals who promote sex trafficking online.

"Human trafficking is 21st century slavery," Tester said. "The folks who hide in the shadows and facilitate human trafficking from their keyboards must face the full force of justice. This bill shines light in the corners to stomp out traffickers who have been tearing families apart for too long."

The Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act gives law enforcement the ability to prosecute websites that intentionally facilitate prostitution. Courts have continuously ruled in favor of current federal laws that protect website operators who conduct human trafficking and illegal activity online. As a result, many websites that knowingly facilitate human trafficking are able to do so with no legal repercussions.

Tester's vote changes the law and ensures that websites that facilitate sex trafficking can be held liable in court and that the victims can seek justice.

As a member of the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Tester questioned Carl Ferrer, the CEO of the controversial website Backpage.com, about his company's role in human trafficking. Backpage.com is a classified advertising site that became an online hub for human trafficking.

After his fight with Backpage.com, Tester sponsored the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act with the other members of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. This bipartisan bill was a direct response to Backpage.com's ability to avoid accountability for their facilitation of human trafficking.

Tester's Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act was included in the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, and as a result of this legislation, website operators of pages like Backpage.com can be held accountable to the full extent of the law.

The legislation passed the Senate 97-2.

 

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.

Billings

Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768

Bozeman

Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647

Butte

Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586

Helena

Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462

Kalispell

8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974

Missoula

130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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