SALEM, Ore. — A bill to change child-sex trafficking from a misdemeanor to a felony is up for a vote Tuesday of next week. That bill will also address the current law, which does not require violators to register as a sex offender.
Provisions were originally drafted to make the first offense a felony, but the current measure is a little different. A senate compromise for Bill 673 wants the first offense to stay a misdemeanor, and a felony to be charged on the second violation. It would also not be until the second violation that an offender would be required to register themselves as a sex offender. This version of the bill would also only apply to victims younger than 15.
Oregon is currently one of seven states in the entire country who do not charge these crimes as felonies. Law enforcement agencies say Portland has a high rate of child trafficking because of Interstate 5.
To sum up the proposed provisions—the first offense will stay a misdemeanor and not require a suspect to register as a sex offender. The punishment will be up to 30 days in jail and up to a $10,000 fine. The second offense will be considered a felony and require the suspect to register as an offender. Violators will get up to 90 days in jail, and a $20,000.