STAND. COM. REP. NO. 786

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1039

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2019

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 1039 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PROSTITUTION,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to permit persons convicted of certain prostitution offenses to file a motion to vacate the conviction if the defendant is not convicted of another offense under the penal code within three years of the original prostitution conviction.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Kauai, Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women, LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, American Association of University Women of Hawaii, Harm Reduction Hawaii, Oahu County Committee on Legislative Priorities of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, and one individual. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu and IMUAlliance. Your Committee received comments on this measure from The Sex Abuse Treatment Center.

 

Your Committee finds that sex trafficking victims are often misidentified and criminalized by law enforcement. The existing law in Hawaii allows for sex trafficking victims to vacate prostitution convictions with proven victimization at any time within six years. However, trafficking victims face significant challenges to disclose and prove their victimization. This measure allows trafficking victims to vacate certain prostitution convictions, without proof of victimization, if the defendant is not convicted of any other prostitution offenses within three years following the original prostitution conviction. By clearing a trafficking victim's criminal record, this measure would help victims reintegrate into society, find non-exploitative employment, bring about substantial cultural reform, and send a strong message that a person's participation in prostitution is often complex and should not bar access to resources, safety, and compassion.

 

As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1039 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,

 

 

 

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KARL RHOADS, Chair