Skip to main content

Obama signs into law sex trafficking bill pushed by Klobuchar

  • Author:
  • Updated:

President Obama has signed into law a measure championed by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar that will crack down on human traffickers and assist the victims of sex trafficking.

The bill had been at the center of a bitter partisan battle on Capitol Hill for weeks that had held up the confirmation of Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

A provision in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act was authored by Klobuchar. She said in a news release it was modeled after Minnesota's "Safe Harbor" law, which ensures that minors who are sold for sex aren’t prosecuted as criminals, but are treated as victims instead and given assistance through child protection services.

She noted that on average, girls first become victims of sex trafficking at 13 years old, and that such activity is increasing as a result of social media, according to the Star Tribune. She called sex-trafficking rings "horrific," based in part on her experience in the Hennepin County Attorney's office.

The law allows federal authorities to seize the assets of convicted sex traffickers and then use that money to set up a fund to help their victims. Other federal funds that are already set aside for health care will also be used.

The delay in acting on the bill in the Senate developed when Klobuchar belatedly realized language in the bill would prohibit using the fund to cover the cost of an abortion for a sex trafficking victim.

Democrats objected to that provision. Republican leaders said they wouldn't schedule a confirmation vote for Lynch until after a vote on the sex trafficking bill.

Klobuchar helped break the stalemate last month. She suggested dividing the fund into two parts – one for medical assistance, the other for non-medical expenses.

The compromise was accepted and the bill easily passed both houses of Congress earlier this month. President Obama signed the measure into law on Friday.

Lynch was sworn in on April 27, according to The Hill.

Next Up

Semi into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

Semi drives into house near Sturgis, South Dakota

The force from the semi was so strong that the foundation of the house was moved.


18-year-old from Zumbrota dies in Goodhue County crash

The crash happened in rural Goodhue County around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday.

thomas beach, bde maka ska - lake calhoun

3 Minneapolis beaches closed due to E. coli contamination

No illnesses have been reported, according to the MPRB.


'Hockeyland' documentary debuting in Minnesota movie theaters

The documentary has received great reviews at numerous film festivals.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Former Minnesota Olympic runner accused of driving drunk in Eden Prairie crash

Police said the man's blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.


Man, 79, killed in ATV rollover near Faribault

The man was declared dead at the scene.

minneapolis police

Woman fighting for her life after shooting in Minneapolis

The woman was shot only about a half-hour after a 14-year-old suffered critical injuries in an apparent accidental discharge.

prior lake high school

Two students face discipline over racist messages at Prior Lake High School

Families and students were largely uncooperative with the investigation.

Sharon and Herb Vasser

Cause of Hopkins house explosion that killed couple revealed

Sharon and Herb Vassar were killed in the explosion. Herb built the home back in 1962.

Arrows on target

Charges: Minnesota camp counselor fired arrows at kids, injuring boy

An 8-year-old boy was shot in the arm with an arrow.

North Shore Mayor Chris Swanson.

Two Harbors votes overwhelmingly to recall Mayor Chris Swanson

The mayor had been scrutinized for several things leading up to the vote Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2022-08-10 at 8.43.50 AM

Suspected gunman at large after homicide near Albert Lea

The 32-year-old suspect was last seen in a 2004 white Ford F-150 with Minnesota license number EUZ-057.