New bill would fine sex traffickers $50K per offense

SAN DIEGO - A newly proposed bill aiming to financially hit sex traffickers was unveiled at the Hall of Justice in downtown San Diego Wednesday.

AB-1495 targets “pimps and Johns” financially. The bill would allow local authorities to civilly prosecute sex traffickers with a $50,000 fine per sex act.

“We need to hit them in the wallet that’s where we will make the most damage,” said State Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, who proposed the bill.

In a study developed by San Diego State University, sex trafficking cash flows $810 million a year in San Diego County.

“We need to give leverage back to the girls that are unwilling participants,” said Tiffany Master, a former teen sex worker. “If girls knew they could get help with the lawsuit money… that would change a lot.”

AB-1495 will be heard by the California State Assembly Tuesday.