Agenda Item 7B
November 17,2015
Worksession
MEMORANDUM
November 13,2015
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
County Council
;£,\
Robert H. Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
r
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Action:
Bill 39-15, Offenses Purchase of Prostitution - Prohibited
Public Safety Committee recommendation (3-0):
enact the Bill with amendments.
Bil139-15, Offenses - Purchase of Prostitution - Prohibited, sponsored by Lead Sponsors
Councilmembers Hucker and Rice and Co-Sponsors Council members Navarro, Riemer, Berliner,
Eirich, Katz, and Council Vice President Floreen, was introduced on September 29, 2015. A public
hearing was held on October 20 and a Public Safety Committee worksession was held on
November 9.
Background
Bill 39-15 would make purchasing prostitution a violation ofCounty law. Although selling
or buying prostitution would violate the current State Criminal Law prohibiting solicitation of
prostitution, Bill 39-15 would add an alternative enforcement mechanism for the police to combat
human trafficking in the County. A person is often forced to work as a prostitute by human
traffickers
at
a young age. The Bill would authorize a police officer to issue either a civil or
criminal citation to the customer for purchasing prostitution in the County. A civil citation would
be prosecuted by the County Attorney's Office and could result in a maximum fine of $500 for a
first violation and $750 for subsequent violations. A criminal citation would be prosecuted by the
State's Attorney and could result in both a fine up to $1000 and up to six months in jail. The Bill
would be enforceable only against the customer. The Office of the County Attorney found no
legal impediment to its enactment. See ©5-9.
Public Hearing
All 5 speakers supported the Bill. Assistant Chief of Police Russell Hamill, speaking on
behalf of the Executive, supported the Bill as a necessary alternative method of enforcement to
combat human trafficking in the County. See © 1O. Debra Bright Harris, President, Montgomery
County Commission for Women (©11-12), supported the Bill and suggested that the fines
collected be earmarked for a human trafficking victim's fund. Jeannette Feldner, Co-President of
the National Organization for Women's Montgomery County Chapter (©13), Catherine Couch,
Justice and Advocacy Council of Montgomery County (©14), and Woody Brosnan, Safe Silver
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Spring (©15-16) each supported the Bill as a useful tool to reduce demand for prostitution in the
County.
November 9 Public Safety Worksession
Assistant Police Chief Russell Hamill represented the Executive Branch. Senior
Legislative Attorney Robert Drummer represented the Council staff. The Committee reviewed the
Bill
and Councilmember Hucker's proposed amendment. Chief Hamill explained how the
Bill
would be useful for reducing human trafficking in the County. The Committee approved the
Hucker Amendment 1 adding a purpose clause, a definition of human trafficking, and modifying
the definition of purchase. The Committee approved
(3-0)
the
Bill
with the amendment.
Issues
1.
What is the fiscal and economic impact of the Bill?
OMB estimated that no additional appropriation of funds would be necessary to implement
the Bill. The County would receive additional revenue from fines collected, but it would not have
a significant effect on County revenues. Finance estimated that the
Bill
would not have a
significant effect on the County's economy. See ©17-21.
2. Is this Bill necessary?
Although a person who purchases prostitution in the County can
be
prosecuted for
solicitation of prostitution under the Maryland Criminal Law, we understand that the State's
Attorney has, by policy, not prosecuted cases against customers. Bill 39-15 would add an
alternative enforcement tool for the police to use to reduce demand for prostitution. The police
report that many ofthe prostitutes working in the County are victims of human trafficking who are
forced to enter the sex trade. Therefore, focusing penalties on customers may reduce demand and
make human trafficking less profitable. Committee recommendation (3-0): enact the Bill as an
alternative enforcement method against human trafficking.
3.
Should the Bill earmark the fines for victims of human trafficking?
Budget decisions are made by the Council on an annual basis during the budget process by
looking at revenues and the needs of each Department and Office. Even if the
Bill
earmarked
these fines for a special fund, the Council could override the Bill during the budget process.
Funding for victim's rights should be considered along with every other part of the budget during
the Council's annual budget process. Committee recommendation (3-0): do not earmark the
fmes.
4. Should the Bill contain a purpose clause?
Lead Sponsor, Councilmember Hucker, introduced an amendment in Committee to add a
purpose clause, a definition of human trafficking, and modify the definition of "purchase."
Committee recommendation (3-0): add the purpose clause, definition of human trafficking, and
2
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modify the defInition of "purchase" as requested by Councilmember Hucker. See lines 3-19 and
line 22
at
©2.
This packet contains:
Bill 39-15
Legislative Request Report
County Attorney Bill Review Memo
Testimony
Assistant Chief Hamill
Debra Bright Harris
Jeannette Feldner
Catherine Couch
Woody Brosnan
Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement
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Circle
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Bill No.
39-15
Concerning: Offenses - Purchase of
Prostitution - Prohibited
Revised: 11-9-15
Draft No.
L
Introduced:
September 29.2015
Expires:
March 29. 2017
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _---,-_ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: ....:N....,o=n=e_---:_ _ __
Ch, _ _
I
Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsors: Councilmembers Hucker and Rice
Co-sponsor: Councilmembers Navarro, Riemer, Berliner, EIrich, Katz, and Council Vice President
Floreen
AN
ACT
to:
(1)
(2)
(3)
prohibit the purchase ofprostitution;
establish enforcement procedures and penalties; and
generally amend County law relating
to
offenses.
By adding
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 32, Offenses - Purchase of Prostitution
Section 32-23A
Boldface
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double undedining
The County Councilfor Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL
No. 39-15
1
Sec 1. Sections 32-23A is added as follows:
32-23A. Purchase of prostitution.
2
3
4
5
6
7
(a)
Findings.
ill
Due to its location on the 1-95 corridor. low crime rate. and high
disposable income. Montgomery County has become a prime
location for human trafficking;
!ll
Lll
a significant number of prostitutes working
County are victims of human trafficking; and
ill
Montgomery
8
9
the United States Department of Justice has found strong
evidence to support a demand-reduction approach to combatting
human trafficking.
10
11
12
Qll
Definitions.
In
this Section, the following terms have the meanings indicated:
Human trafficking
means the recruitment. transportation. transfer.
harboring or receipt of persons. by means of the threat or use of force
or other forms of coercion. of abduction. of fraud. of deception. of the
abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or
receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person
having control over another person. for the purpose of exploitation.
Prostitution
means the performance of
~
sexual act, sexual contact, or
vaginal intercourse for hire.
Purchase
means to offer or agree to
!mY
money or something of value
to another person in return for
~
seryice.
Sexual act
has the meaning stated in Md. Criminal Law Art. §3-301, as
amended.
Sexual contact
has the meaning stated in Md. Criminal Law Art.
§J.:
301, as amended.
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20 .
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
o
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BILL
No.
39-15
28
29
Vaginal intercourse
has the meaning stated
in
Md. Criminal Law Art.
§3-301, as amended.
30
31
32
[[{hlJ] (£l
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Prohibition.
A
person must not purchase prostitution in the
County.
Enforcement; penalties.
33
34
ill
A police officer may issue
to
~
~
civil citation or
~
criminal citation
person whom the officer reasonably believes has violated
35
36
37
this Section.
ill
Approved:
A violation ofthis Section is
~
Class A violation.
38
George Leventhal, President, County Council
39
Date
Approved:
40
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
41
Date
This is a correct copy o/Council action.
42
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
43
Date
G
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 39-15
Offenses
-
Purchasing Prostitution
-
Established
DESCRIPTION:
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Bill 39-15 would prohibit purchasing prostitution. The Bill would also
establish enforcement procedures and penalties.
Police need alternative enforcement mechanisms to eliminate human
trafficking in the County.
Eliminate human trafficking in the County.
Montgomery County Police.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Robert
H.
Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
To be researched.
Class A Violation.
F:\LA W\BILLS\1539 Offenses - Purchase OfProstitution\LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT.Docx
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Isiah Leggett
County Executive
Marc P.
Hansen
County Attorney
MEMORANDUM
TO:
J.
Thomas Manger, Chief of Police
Edward B. Lattner, Chief, Division of Government Operations
County Attorney's Office
David E. Stevenson
Associate County Attorney
October 9, 2015
Bill 39-15, "Offenses - Purchase of Prostitution -Prohibited"
Comments by the County Attorney's Office
I have read and reviewed the content of Bill 39-15, and I see no legal issues ..
VIA:
r;
M_
lA/r
FROM:
DfS /
~-L-
:y
~
tr
DATE:
RE:
Bill 39-15 proposes to add a new Section 23A to Chapter 32, Article
1.,
"Offenses," of the
Montgomery County Code. The new Section 32-23A that Bill 39-15 proposes to add to the
County Code will make the ''purchase'' of prostitution-type services a civil and criminal violation
of County law. And by making the "purchase of prostitution" a County offense, Bill 39-15 will
make the citation and adjudicatory enforcement procedures of Section 1-18 ofthe County Code
applicable to the prosecution of criminal and civil violations against persons who offer or agree
to pay money to another person for prostitution-type sexual services. Thus, Bill 39-15 will
supplement the existing framework of State criminal laws, by adding an alternative enforcement
mechanism for law enforcement agencies to employ in combatting human trafficking that occurs
in
the County.
Compared to state law.
A person's act of "purchasing" (offering or agreeing to pay money to another person) for
prostitution-type services is already a violation of a State criminal statute. Under current State
law, a person may not knowingly engage
in
an "assignation" (''the making of an engagement for
prostitution"). Knowingly engaging
in
an "assignation" is a violation of Section 11-306 (a) (1) of
the Criminal Law Article ofthe Maryland Code. And a person who seeks and obtains
prostitution-type services from another person
has
engaged
in
an "assignation." Attorney
Grievance Commission v. Marcalus, 414 Md. 501,518-19 (2010). Additionally, under current
,_._~
________
101
...... _____ .. _a_.. '_."'''' ___ ''_'''' ......
20850-2580
,_
Monroe Street. Third Floor, Rockville, Maryland
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J.
Thomas Manger, Chief ofPolice
October 9,2015
Page 2
State law, a person may not knowingly procure or solicit an act of prostitution from another
person. This is a violation of Section 11-306 (a) (5) of the Criminal Law Article ofthe Maryland
Code. Under
Sta~
law, a person who violates Section 11-306 (a) ofthe Crimina1 Law Article is
guilty of a misdemeanor, and is subject to imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to $500,
or both imprisonment and the fine.
Although a prosecution of a person who "purchases prostitution" can be initiated under
Section 11-306 (a) ofthe Criminal Law Article by the arrest ofthe "purchaser," or by the filing
of a criminal charging document against the "purchaser" in the District Court, Section 4-101 of
the Criminal Procedure Article, titled "Charge by Citation," does not authorize the issuance of a
citation to the "purchaser" ofprostitution. So, under current law, and unless Bill 39-15 is
enacted, law enforcement officers cannot issue a citation to a person who "purchases
prostitution," charging the purchaser/solicitor/assignor with a violation oflaw.
While the language ofproposed Section 32-23A ofthe County Code is more "plain
English" than the language of Section 11-306 (a) of the Criminal Law Article, ifBil139-15 is
enacted, new Section 32-23A of the County Code will prohibit the same conduct (in the form of
"purchasing prostitution") as Section 11-306 (a) already prohibits (in the form ofan
"assignation" for, or the "procurement/solicitation" of, prostitution).
Analysis
The content ofBil139-15 is "constitutional," and "legal." Under the Express Powers Act,
the County may enact local laws on any matter covered by the express powers granted by the
Act. See Section 10-202 (a) of the Local Government Article of the Maryland Code. And, under
the Express Powers Act, the County Council may enact any County law that "may aid in
maintaining the peace, good government, health, and welfare ofthe county." Section 10·206 (a)
(2) ofthe Local Government Article. This power to legislate for the general welfare of the
county is a delegation of the State's ''police power," and the "police power" is a broad and
expansive legislative power. County Council v. Investors Funding, 270 Md. 403, 411-415
(1973). The only restriction on the County's police power is that the Council cannot enact a law
that contlicts with a State general public law. Rockville Grosvenor. Inc. v. Montgomery County,
289 Md 74, 96 (1980).
ConOict
In order for the County to be
in
contlict with State law, the local law must prohibit an
activity which is expressly permitted by State law, or permit an activity which is expressly
prohibited by State law. Some element ofirreconcilability or legal inconsistency is required,
such that both the State and the local laws cannot be applied together. City of Baltimore v.
Sitnick, 254 Md. 303, 317 (1969). There are no such conflicts between the existing State law and
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J.
Thomas Manger, Chief ofPolice
October 9, 2015
Page 3
the County law proposed by Bill 39-15. A mere lack ofunifonnity in detail does not create a
legal inconsistency or conflict. Ibid.
Moreover, where a State statute prohibits certain conduct, a local law may be enacted to
prohibit the same conduct. And the local law may even enlarge upon the scope ofthe conduct
that is considered criminal, and provide for more severe penalties for the conduct prohibited by
the State law. The enlargement ofthe scope of prohibited criminal activity, and the provision of
different penalties, does not render local legislation enacted under "concurrent power" in conflict
with the existing State statute. Rossbergv. State, 111 Md. 394,414-18 (1909).
In
a situation such as ours, where there is
a:
State law regulating a field (but the State
has
not preempted the field), and a charter county wishes to enact a law in the same regulatory field,
the State
~
the charter county have concurrent powers to address the same subject matter. City
of Baltimore v. Sitnick, 254 Md. 303, 311-12 (1969) (Baltimore City may enact aminjrnum
wage that is higher
than
the State's minimum wage). Where, as in the case of the regulation of
prostitution-type conduct, the State has not preempted the entire field, a charter county may enact
supplementa1locallegislation in that field. Id. 254 Md. at 317. The fact that a local law enlarges
upon the provisions ofa statute creates no conflict between the local law and the statute. Ibid.
There are three differences between the existing State statute, and the proposed County
law. One difference is that the proposed County law would authorize a criminal penalty of up to
six months injail (as opposed to one year injail), and a fine of up to $1,000 (rather
than
a
maximum of $500). The second difference is that the County law would authorize a civil penalty
of up to $500 for a first violation, and up to $750 for subsequent violations. The existing State
law doesn't authorize civil penalties. The third difference has already been highlighted. The
proposed County law
will
allow law enforcement officers to issue citations to persons who
''purchase prostitution."
There is, however, no conflict between the provisions ofBilr39-15, and the content of
the current State statute prohibiting persons from soliciting acts of prostitution, and from
engaging in assignations for acts of prostitution. The fact that Bill 39-15 will allow the issuance
of citations for ''purchasing prostitution," when the parallel State law cannot be enforced in this
fashion, the fact that proposed Section 32-23A will authorize a higher criminal fine, and the fact
that Section 32-23A will authorize civil penalties (when the parallel State law does not) are
differences between the two laws. But these differences are not "conflicts." although the
proposed County law will authorize the imposition of civil penalties (while the existing State law
does not), imposing a civil penalty for ''purchasing prostitution" does not "pennit an activity
which is prohibited by State law." Providing for a different
type
ofpenalty for a prostitution-type
offense is not "pennitting" the offense. Bill 39-15's authorization of civil penalties doesn't
constitute a conflict with State law.
(jJ
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J.
Thomas Manger, Chief ofPolice
October 9,2015
Page 4
Finally, the fact that Section 11-306 (a) prohibits "knowing" participation in
"assignations," and "solicitations," whereas the word "knowingly" does not expressly appear in
the text of proposed Section 32-23A of the County Code does not present a conflict between the
existing State law and the proposed County law, or represent a material difference between the
substantive provisions of the two laws. Although Bill 39-15 does not make use of the word
"knowingly," the manner in which the tenus "purchase" and ''prostitution'' are defined in the
proposed County law includes the concept of a ''knowing'' participation in an act of prostitution.
A violation of proposed Section 32-23A requires an offer or agreement to pay money to another
person in return for the perfonuance ofa sexual act, sexual contact, or vaginal intercourse, which
service is offered for hire. A person who presents an offer, or enters into an agreement, which is
prohibited by Bill 39-15, clearly does so "knowing" that the person is engaging in an assignation
for prostitution, or is soliciting an act of prostitution. The substantive provisions of the two laws
will be virtually identical.
These differences between the terms of the existing State statute, and the provisions of
the proposed County law do not present conflicts between the State law and the proposed County
law. The proposed County law to prohibit the "purchase of prostitution" simply supplements
(within Montgomery County) the provisions of State law that already prohibit human trafficking.
Preemption
The County is not expressly preempted by State law from enacting a law that addresses
the subject matter of human trafficking, because Section 11-302 of the Criminal Law Article
states: "A person charged with a crime under this subtitle [the Prostitution and Related Crimes
Subtitle] may also be prosecuted
and
sentenced for violating any other applicable law." Any
"other applicable law" includes a law enacted by a charter county. So, the Legislature
has
expressly permitted charter counties to enact laws dealing with human trafficking.
In
view of
Section 11-302, it is also clear that the State has not impliedly preempted local legislation in this
subject area by completely occupying the field ofthe regulation of human trafficking.
Conclusion
The content ofBill 39-15
is
consistent with the provisions of the State's laws regulating
human trafficking. And I do not see the enactment of Bill 39-15 as significantly increasing the
County's liability exposure to false arrest and malicious prosecution claims.
In
my view, there is
no need to propose any substantive amendment to the content of Bill 39-15. Bill 39-15 should be
enacted in its current form.
The content of proposed Section 32-23A ofthe County Code are not vague or
ambiguous. The proposed County law contains words that are commonly used.
It
uses no legal or
technical tenns which would
make
it difficult to understand. Any person of common intelligence
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J.
Thomas Manger, Chief of Police
October 9, 2015
PageS
who reads the law should be aware of what actions are prohibited.
cc:
Bonnie Kirkland, Assistant CAO
Marc P. Hansen, County Attorney
Robert Drummer, Senior Legislative Attorney
15-004055
Bill 39-15 analysis (EBL)
(j)
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TESTIMONY ON BEHALF OF COUNTY EXECUTIVE ISIAH LEGGETT
ON BILL 39-15, OFFENSES - PURCHASE OF PROSTITUTION - PROHIBITION
October 20,2015
Good afternoon Council President Leventhal and members of the Council. My name is
Russell Hamill. I am the Assistant Chief of Police, Investigations, Investigative Services Bureau.
I am here today testifying on behalf of the County Executive regarding Bil139-15, Offenses
Purchase of Prostitution - Prohibition. Prostitution is a supply and demand business that has
traditionally been combated through enforcement on the supply side of the crime.
As education and awareness of human trafficking grows, it has become clear that an
enforcement strategy focused solely on prostitutes is insufficient to address the issue. In some
prostitution cases, the suspects are actually victims of human trafficking.
In 2009, The Montgomery County Police Department's Vice and Intelligence Unit began
to address the demand side of prostitution - customers - in order to target those who prey on the
victims of human trafficking.
Through their enforcement efforts, the Vice and Intelligence Unit has learned that nearly
80% of the prostitutes they encounter have traveled to Montgomery County from outside
Maryland, DC and Virginia. Through interviews with prostitutes, the Vice and Intelligence Unit
has learned that Montgomery County is an attractive market for prostitutes due to the affluent
customer base with large amounts of disposable income.
This legislation provides an alternate enforcement option for the police to address on­
going issues in Montgomery County related to prostitution and human trafficking by creating a
provision to County Law which allows for the issuance of a civil citation for violations.
Bill 39-15 focuses on the demand side of prostitution, allowing officers to issue a civil or
criminal citation to those who solicit prostitution. This will reduce the amount of time and paper
work required to apply for a statement of charges on an offender and provide an alternative
means of enforcement outside the area of criminal prosecution.
In conclusion, the County Executive and Montgomery County Police support this
legislation as a method to streamline enforcement efforts directed at the demand side of
prostitution and human trafficking. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and your
favorable consideration of this bill.
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3
COMMISSION FOR WOMEN
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
October 19, 2015
Councilperson George Leventhal, President, Montgom ery County Council and
.
Members of the Montgomery County Council
Council Office Building -
tjth
floor
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
Re:
Bill 39-15 Offenses-Prohibition ofProstitution-Prohibited
Dear Councilman Leventhal and Members of the Montgomery County Council:
On behalf of the Montgomery County Commission for Women, I am pleased to write a letter in support of Bill­
39-15. The mandate of the Commission is to advise the County Executive, the County Council, the public, and
agencies of the county, state and federal governments on issues concerning women in Montgomery
County. (Montgomery County Code Sec. 27 - 29). We have been advancing women's rights in Montgomery
County since 1972.
One of the Commission's primary responsibilities is to improve women's lives by identifYing inequalities in
laws, policies, practices, and procedures and recommending and promoting remedies. We believe that Bill 39-15
is a partial remedy to inequalities in our county that put some women's health and safety at risk.
As
you may
already be aware, many sex workers in Montgomery County are victims of human trafficking. Human sex traf­
ficking is when someone is forced, deceived, or coerced into partaking in commercial sex acts. Victims ofhu­
man trafficking face egregious physical, mental, and sexual abuse. Unfortunately, due to the high concentration
ofwealth and demand in Montgomery County, human sex trafficking has become a significant issue here that
must be addressed.
Bill
39-15 is a simple
bill:
It
has the potential to deter demand by allowing law enforcement to impose and
enforce penalties on those who are already
in
violation of existing state law.
Our
police officers would have
the power to issue
civil
citations to sex purchasers. These citations create both financial and social deterrents to
the solicitation of prostitution. Similar policies have produced positive outcomes in other jurisdictions. For ex­
ample, San Francisco and Cook County, illinois, have implemented similar measures. Such a decline in demand
would force many sex traffickers out of Montgomery County, improving the lives of some of our most vulnera­
ble residents.
There are many fonD.s ofhumaiJ. trafficking, sex trafficking being just one. We believe that Bill 39-15 will not
eradicate human sex
trafficking
in
Montgomery County altogether. Rather, it may act as a deterrent to
consumers, and show
traffickers
that we are willing to take action. Our county should not be a hospitable
place for human trafficking.
The Commission supports the intent and spirit of
this
innovative bill. We ask that the sponsor and Council con­
sider including the following into the bill:
.. Debra Bright Harris
President
21 Maryland Avenue, Suite
330
Rockville, Maryland
20850 240-777-8333
FAX
240-777-2555
www.montgomervcountvmd.gov/cfw
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COMMISSION FOR WOMEN
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
October 19, 2015
1.
Since this bill
aims
to reduce human trafficking in the county, it is important to include a definition of
human trafficking in the bill. A definition also raises additional awareness about what human traffick­
ing is and the links it
has
to prostitution.
Verbiage that indicates
that
fees from this bill
will
be used
to
establish a human trafficking victim's
fund. This bill presents a wonderful opportunity
to
assist victims using funds generated by consumers.
It
is my understanding that the County already has a crime victim's
fund.
However, it is also our under­
s1:I;mding that creating a new fund would be easier
than
including a "set aside" in the current fund.
Debra Bright Harris
President
2.
We commend Counci4nember Hucker and Councilmember Rice and
all
of the co-sponsors of
this
legislation.
We thank the Council for their consideration of
this
legislation and ask for their support in passing Bill 39-15
with our suggestions.
Sincerely,
~I.~
Debra Bright Harris
President, Montgomery County Commission for Women
21 Maryland Avenue, Suite 330
Rockville, Maryland 208S0 240-777-8333
FAX
24O-777-2SS5
www.montgdmeryCountymd.gov/cfw
@
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Oral Testimony
in
Support
of
Bill 39-15
October
20, 2015
Thank you, Councilmember Hucker, for sponsoring Bill
39-15,
and thank you,
Councilmembers, for hearing my testimony in support of this bill.
I am Jeannette Feldner, Co-President of the National Organization for Women's
Montgomery County Chapter.
I
also serve on the County Human Trafficking Task Force
representing MCNOW.
I
am
here today representing both the Maryland state and
Montgomery County Chapters of NOW and their members.
We know that Marylanders are against human trafficking, with counties and localities
working with national law enforcement and with national and local citizens groups.
Prosecution under current prostitution laws disproportionately impacts women and
other victims, many of whom are victims of human trafficking.
The National Human Trafficking Resource Center has been keeping statistics since
2007,
and the majority of human trafficking victims are forced into the sex trade. Contrary to
stereotypes, victims of human trafficking are not just immigrants or low-income groups.
Human trafficking victims are from ofall racial groups and from the range ofeconomic classes.
So,
all
our children are at some risk ofbeing victimized, which mandates that we attack the
problem in as many ways as possible.
Bill
39-15
addresses the demand side of the economic equation, with the goal of curbing
the demand for prostitution because the more the demand, the more likely human traffickers
will recruit and force women and girls into prostitution. Under current prostitution laws, the
"johns" - the customers - pretty much get off scot-free. This bill would impose stiff
consequences for the people who are paying for prostitution - which benefits human
traffickers who are victimizing women, men and children - by imposing costly fines and by
allowing law enforcement personnel to charge these customers as criminals.
The purpose of this legislation is to help eliminate human trafficking in Montgomery
County.
As
always, we hope that legislation
of
this sort will pass here and then spread to other
counties and throughout the region.
Montgomery County needs this legislation, which
will
give law enforcement another tool
against human trafficking. We urge your positive vote in support of Bill
39-15.
National Organization for Women
Maryland State and Montgomery County Chapters
PO
Box
2301,
Rockville, MD
20847-2301
301-368-1917 •
info@mcmdnow.org
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Testimony Submitted to Montgomery County Council
October 20, 2015
5
Catherine Couch, Co-Chair
Justice and Advocacy Council of Montgomery County
Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Catherine Couch. I am the Co­
chair of the Justice and Advocacy Council of Montgomery County. The Justice and Advocacy
Council functions as an advocacy voice of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.
Our advocacy efforts are based on the tenets of Catholic Social teaching which include the
sacredness of life, the dignity of the human person, the responsibility to care for others, a
preferential option for the poor and vulnerable as well as the need to act in solidarity,
recognizing that we are all part of one human family.
The Catholic Church is deeply concerned with preventing human trafficking of all kinds
whether it is in the form of prostitution, forced labor or domestic servitude.
On July 9-10, 2015 the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities DC,
Catholic Charities USA and the Catholic University of America School of Social Work hosted a
two day conference entitled Answering Pope Francis's Call: An American Catholic Response to
Modern-Day Slavery.
The goal of this conference was to educate attendees about the condition, prevalence and
impact of human trafficking and to begin the process of developing a cohesive response to
the growing problem of human trafficking. The response includes both strategies to prevent
trafficking and best practices for providing intervention and assistance to victims.
As a strategy for preventing human trafficking, the J&A is pleased to support Bill 39-15
making the purchase of prostitution a violation of County law and providing an enforcement
mechanism for the police to combat human trafficking in the County.
We are particularly pleased that the penalties in this bill are directed to those seeking to
purchase prostitution rather than to the individuals performing the sexual acts. Many of the
individuals providing prostitution services are women, girls and boys who are the victims of
human trafficking.
In addressing the issue of prostitution, the County also needs to continue to strengthen the
safety network to reduce poverty, increase training opportunities that provide employable
skills and seek to eliminate human trafficking in the County in any form.
We commend the Council for considering Bill 39-15 and urge its passage into law.
Thank you.
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Testimony of Safe Silver Spring in support of Bill 39-15
I am Woody Brosnan, vice chair of Safe Silver Spring. The mission of Safe Silver
Spring is to develop strategies, partnerships and goals to keep Silver Spring a
community where people can live, work, travel, shop and play safely.
Our monthly forums and newsletters are intended to educate the public about
issues of safety in their community. And we have advocated for increasing the size
of the police force, strict gun safety laws, tougher laws against domestic violence,
police body cameras, juvenile justice reform, school resource officers and funding
for after-school and vocational programming.
Safe Silver Spring generally supports giving law enforcement agencies additional
tools to target offenders so long as they are constitutional.
Human traffickers prey on minors fleeing poverty and violence from Central
America to Asia to Baltimore and suburbia. But they wouldn't have a market
except for the buyers.
It may seem paradoxical to advocate for a bill that allows a citation and fine for a
crime that could bring a jail sentence. But as we all know buyers seldom face jail.
Frankly, the data on arrests for prostitution and human trafficking is so
inadequate to be embarrassing. It wasn't until 2013 that the FBI began collecting
data on prostitution and human trafficking for its Uniformed Crime Reports.
But using that data, it was found in Massachusetts in 2013 police arrested 642
women for prostitution offenses compared to 278 men arrested.
Police and prosecutors complain they lack the resources to mount and prosecute
sting operations that involve both buyer and seller. But it is not just a lack of
resources than can deter prosecution of buyers. Advocates for victims of human
sex trafficking say victims can have a legitimate fear about the trauma and risk of
testifying in such cases.
But some departments have capitalized on the use of web sites like Backpage.com
for sting operations that have resulted in large numbers of arrests and fines.
@
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Since 2011, Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart has helped organize nine "National
Day of Johns Arrests " involving a coalition of 70 jurisdictions. According to Dart,
this effort has led to the arrest of
2 /900
johns.
This
year,
in a pre-Super Bowl sweep lasting two weeks, there were 570 arrests
for sex solicitation by 37 law enforcement agencies in 17
states,
resulting in more
than
$340
1
000
in fines.
We hope passage of this bill in Montgomery County will lead to online and street
level sting operations targeting large numbers of buyers. The county also should
mount a public awareness campaign to warn buyers that they could face hefty
fines.
Montgomery County frequently leads the state on issues so Safe Silver Spring
hopes county action would lead the General Assembly to consider its own
measures to target buyers with increased fines and penalties.
Thank you for giving Safe Silver Spring this time to testify on this important issue.
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ROCKVIU~E,
MARYlAND
MEMORANDUM
October 22, 2015
TO:
Goorge Leventhal, President, County Coune!
Jennifer A. Hughes, Director, Office ofM .
Joseph F. Beach, Director, Department of ,in
FROM:
SUBJECT:
\
FEIS
for
BiU 39-15,
Offenses -
Purchase
of Prostitution
~
Prohibition
Please find attached the fiscal and economic impact statements
tor
the above­
referenced legislation.
JAH:fz
cc: Bonnie Kirkland, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer
Lisa Austin, Offices of the County Executive
Joy Nurmi, Special Assistant
to
the County Executive
Patrick Lacefield, Director, Public Information Office
Joseph F. Beach, Director, Department of Finance
Tom Manger, Chief, Department of Police
Alex Espinosa, Office of Management and Budget
Richard Harris, Office ofManagement and Budget
Felicia Zhang, Office
ofManagement
and Budget
Naeem Mia" Office of Management and Budget
®
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Fiscal Impact Statement
Council
Bill 39-15
&
Offenses - Purchase of Prostitution - Prohibition
1. Legislative
Summary.
Bill 39-15 would make purchasing prostitution a violation of County law. Although
selling or buying prostitution would violate the current State Criminal Law prohibiting
solicitation of prostitution, this legislation would add an alternative enforcement
mechanism for police to combat human trafficking
in
the County. Bill 39..15 would
authorize a police officer to issue either a civil or criminal citation to
the
customer for
purchasing prostitution in the County. The fines for civil citations range from $500 for a
fust violation, $750 for subsequent violations, and the fine for a criminal citation is up to
$1,000 and up to six months injail.
2. An estimate of changes in County revenues and expenditures regardless ofwhether the
revenues or expenditures are assmned
in
the recoiriinended or approved budget. Includes
source of infonnation,
asswnptio~,
and
metho~o~Qgies
used.
Changes to County revenue would
be
directly
,;el~,~
to the number ofcitations issued
and paid per year. Currently tlj.e Vice
&
Intel1ig~ntie
Unit charges approximately 30
"customers" per year. Between the civil and cnmmal citation this would result in
approximately $15,000 - $30,000
I
year based on current enforcement activity.
Expenditures are likely to remain consistent as these cases do not
typically
incur
overtime, and while the citation method is quicker than the tormal charging process, it is
not likely to result ina signific;mt reduction of expenditures.
3. Revenue and expenditure estimates covering at least .the next 6 fiscal years.
As
described in #2, Bill 39-15 would result in
approximately$15,OOO~30,000
in year one
from paid citations. The total estimated revenue for years two through six ranges from
$75,000 to $150,000, for a six year cost of $90,000 to $180,000. There is no estimated
increase in expenditures.
4.
An
actuarial analysis through the entire amorti7..ation period for each bilI that would affect
retiree pension or group insurance costs.
N/A
5. Later actions
that
may affect future revenue and
exp~nditures
ifthe bill authorizes future
spending.
!,
!.\:
Bill 35-15 does not authorize
fu~ spending;~o~ver,
if
enforcement efforts decrease
due to a reduction of prostitution
d~and theI};fe~~pues
would fall accordingly.
6.
An
estimate of the staff time needed to implententthe bill.
There would
be
little
staff
time on MCPD's partto implement the bill other than training
during normal in-service or online training modules: The training for Bill 39-15 would
1ast about a half hour for approximately 1,200 officers, totaling 600 hours.
7. An explanation of how the addition of new staff responsibilities would affect other duties.
Bill 39.. 15 will help MCPD
staffconduct
quicker and more efficient enforcement so the
impact on other duties will
be minimal
to none.
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8.
An
estimate of costs when an
~aiiiQnal appro~riation
is needed .
No additional appropriation
is
nee4ed to implement
Bi1139-15.
.. > .
~
, , ,
.
9. A
description of any variable that could affect revenue and cost estimates.
The variable that may impact revenues would be connected
to
what defendants are
actually sentenc¢ to
fot a
fme.
If
judges deem a
$100 fine as appropriate, then
the
calculations
assumed.
in
#2
would
be impacted as
they
assume maximum penalties. There
are no variables assumed
that
impact expenditures at this
point.
10. Ranges
of
revenue or
expenditures
that
are
ilncertain
or difficult
to
project.
The range of revenues is difficult to project because
it
is unknown how the judiciary will
react to these charges and what amount oftines
will
be imposed.
11. If a bill is likely to have no fiscal impact, why that
is
the case.
The fiscal impact is likely to occur on the
revenue
side as
stated
in
#2 and #3.
12. Other fiscal impacts or colI1Ilients.
None
13.
The
following
contributed to
atld
cQncU1Ted
withtbis
analysis:
Capt. Dinesh Patill MCPD IS!D ;,
., .
...
Richard H. Harris, OMB
~
~
$"
;
,
.'
~czlth&
o
ce~~ement
J
fer A.
ghes, Director (
and Budget
.
Dilte
1(2/zL1r5:
I
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Economic
Impact Statement
Bill 39-15, Offenses -
Purchase
of
Prostitution - ProhIbited
Background:
This legislation would make purchasing prostitution a violation of County law. Bill
39-15 adds Section 32-23A to Chapter 32 of the County Code by defining
prostitution, defining the purchase ofprostitution, prohibits the purchase of
prostitution, and authorizes a police officer to issue a civil citation or criminal 'citation
to
a
person who violates Section 32-23A. Bill 39-15 would
be
enforceable only
agahlst the customer. The civil citation
as
prosecuted by tie County Attorney's
Office would result in a maximwn fine of$500 for the first violation
and
$750 for
subsequent violations. Criminal violations would be prosecuted by the
State's
Attorney. Therefore,
the
economic impact would only apply to prosecutions
by
the
. County Attorney's
Office.
1.
The sources of information, assumptions, and methodologies
used.
Source ofinfonnation and
data:
Special Investigation Division
(SID),
Montgomery
County
Police.
SID
charged approximately thirty (30) customers last
fiscal
year for
solicitation of prostitution. Even though the number varies from year to year
~
Finance
assumes that the number of customers charged last fiscal year represents
a
historical
annual average of first violations and that there are no subsequent custonler
"\riolations..
2. A description of any variable that could affect the economic impact estimates.
The variable that could affect the economic impact estimate is the number
of
customers charged under Bill 3
9~15.
As stated in paragraph
#1,
Finance assumes
that
the data provided
by SIn
from last fiscal year represent an annual average.
Second~
the economic impact statement assumes that there are no subsequent customer
violations. Therefore,
\\ith
a
fine of $500 per violation. no subsequent violations.
and
thirty
customers, the total income loss to all customers is $15,000.
3.
The
Bill's positive or negative effect,
if
any on employment, spending, savings,
investment, incomes, and property values in the County.
Bill 39-15
would .have no significant economic impact on total personal income,
employment, and savings
in
the County. With
ail
income loss ofonly $15,000 from
30 customers attributed to the tine, the economic impact
is
insignificant compared to
the
County's
total personaljncome of $74.0 billion in calendar year
2013 (Source:
Bureau of Ec.ollomic Analysis,
U.s.
Department
of Commerce).
4.
If
a Bill is likely to have no economic impact, why
is
that the case?
See paragraph #3,
Page 1
of2
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Economic Impact Statement
Bill 39-15,
Offenses - Purchase of Prostitution - Prohibited
5.
The
following contributed to or concurred with
this anaIY$is:
David
Platt,
Mary
Casciotti, and Rob Hagedoom, Finance;
Joseph
~rector
~~~
/b,-
(1-
rs
Date
Department of Finance
Page
20f2