identification. The need for more “trafficking specific training”
requires more agencies willing to provide it. WARN provides an
example of the types of agencies that can assist law enforcement and
social service workers in effectively identifying and assisting
domestic minor sex trafficking victims.
The Washington statute punishes human trafficking as a Class
A felony with “imprisonment for 123 [to] 387 months and a possible
fine up to $50,000.” 253 Additionally, promoting commercial sexual
abuse of a minor is a Class A felony punishable by a lifetime prison
sentence, a fine not to exceed $50,000, or both. 254 These penalties for
traffickers are more severe than those under New York law. Further,
unlike New York, Washington provides high financial penalties for
traffickers, including asset forfeiture. 255 The additional financial
penalties, in combination with imprisonment and fines, can act as
adequate deterrents and punishments for traffickers.
2. Polaris Project: statutory provisions to further protect
victims, post a national hotline, and provide victims with civil
The most significant failing of the New York Safe Harbor Act
under the Polaris Project analysis is that the New York Act requires
evidence of force or coercion to prosecute sex traffickers of minors256
as well as to provide minor victims with services. 257 This policy
severely fails the child victims. Washington’s statute defines
commercial sexual abuse of a minor to include any of the following
acts: (1) an individual pays a minor or third person for sexual act of
253 See WASH. REV. CODE ANN. § 9A.40.100(1)(a) (West 2013).
254 See WASH. REV. CODE ANN. § 9.68A.101(2) (West 2013) (defining the
promotion of commercial sexual abuse of a minor as a Class A felony); WASH.
REV. CODE ANN. § 9A.20.021(1)(a) (West 2013) (describing the maximum
sentence under state law for Class A felonies).
255 See NEW YORK STATE REPORT: STATE RATINGS 2012, supra note 227, at 1
(noting the need for asset forfeiture in New York’s response to traffickers);
POLARIS PROJECT, WASHINGTON STATE REPORT: STATE RATINGS 2012, at 3,
256 N. Y. PENAL LAW § 230.34 (McKinney 2013).
257 See Cedeño, supra note 171, at 175.