90% of human traffickers not registered as sex offenders, study finds

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Monday, August 23, 2021
Report following trafficking cases reveals low punishments
Among 217 Harris County defendants, 67% received sentences of 5 years of less and 90% did not have to register as sex offenders.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Crime Stoppers released a report looking at the actual outcomes of hundreds of arrests related to human trafficking in Harris County, claiming the findings reveal the ramifications of felony bond reform.

Crime Stoppers followed 549 cases dispersed among 217 defendants charged between 2018 and 2020, 14% have since been sentenced.

The study found that 67% of defendants received sentences of five years or less or community supervision.

The study also found that 90% of offenders did not have to register as a sex offender after conviction.

"Human traffickers are the scourge of society. So, what happens when they are actually charged with human trafficking related offenses? Crime Stoppers of Houston took it upon us to do what no governmental entity has done - get answers. Our report released today, while shocking and disturbing, points out the indisputable fact we all have a lot of work to do to enhance public safety on behalf of victims and survivors of human trafficking." said Crime Stoppers Director of Victim Services and Advocacy Andy Kahan.

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For the defendants, 6% saw their charges dismissed for a number of reasons like missing witnesses, lack of victim cooperation and technicalities.

In total, 9% percent of those studied are currently wanted fugitives.

Crime Stoppers says it was concerned with the low punishments in these cases, saying it put their victims at risk.

You can read the full report released by Crime Stoppers here.

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