trafficking is classified as a Class B felony,172 which imposes a
prison sentence not to exceed twenty-five years173 and “a fine not to
exceed five thousand dollars or double the amount of the defendant’s
gain from the commission of the crime.”174 However, this criminal
state statutory provision is not close to the high level of punishment
that is imposed by the federal TVPA, which provides for a maximum
sentence of life imprisonment depending on the age of the victim.175
Additionally, as is discussed later in this article, New York does not
have a statutory provision for asset forfeiture.
iii. Identification of victims
Domestic minor sex trafficking victims are “notoriously hard
to identify.”176 These children often do not self-identify as victims
due to fear of psychological abuse by the trafficker and the existence
of trauma bonds that are developed during the process of
victimization.177 In addition to the lack of self-identification among
this population of children due to the effects of “pimp-control,” these
children also face immense shame and stigma, which makes them
“hesitant to reveal their participation in these markets.”178 An
additional obstacle is that service providers who are not already
working with domestic minor sex trafficking victims, including
doctors, are cautious to identify children as victims of trafficking
primarily because they are unaware of the available treatment and
“As a result of these and other factors that keep the problem
hidden, many trafficked youth who come into contact with service
providers and the legal system do so under cover of a variety of
issues other than sex trafficking.”180 In New York, these issues
172 N. Y. PENAL LAW § 230.34.
173 N. Y. PENAL LAW § 70.00(2)(b) (McKinney 2013).
174 N. Y. PENAL LAW § 80.00(1) (McKinney 2013).
175 See TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT, supra note 7, at 361; see also 18
U.S.C.A. § 1591(b)(1), (2) (West 2013) (outlining the federal sentencing provisions
for sex trafficking of a minor).
176 See HINES & HOCHMAN, supra note 129, at 8.
177 See SMITH ET AL., supra note 12, at 41.
178 See HINES & HOCHMAN, supra note 129, at 8.
179 Id. at 9.