substantially affected interstate commerce.”117 The appellate court
explained that Evans’s use of both landlines and cellphones alone
was “sufficient to satisfy [Section] 2422(b)’s interstate commerce
element” because “telephones and cellular phones are
instrumentalities of interstate commerce.”118
These two cases serve as important examples of how the
TVPA’s provisions are successfully applied to impose harsh penalties
on defendants and to protect victims. The traffickers in these cases
were punished with prohibitive prison sentences, ranging from
fifteen119 to twenty-three years.120 In addition, the courts maintained
the victim’s anonymity during the court proceedings, which served to
protect victims who were potentially at risk of retaliation or harm by
their trafficker’s affiliates. Most importantly, U.S. v. Evans confirms
Congress’s power to regulate intrastate domestic sex trafficking
under the TVPA.
As illustrated by these cases, it is imperative that states enact
comprehensive legislative responses to domestic minor sex
trafficking to ensure the effective prosecution of traffickers and the
protection of our children from commercial sexual exploitation and
enslavement. Implementation of a uniform law across all states
would eliminate ineffective statutory schemes and provide the
greatest protection possible to our children. Also, states could begin
to act as the primary avenue for prosecuting traffickers and protecting
V. Model State Policy & Legislation
Comprehensive uniform state legislation is essential for states
to provide the best protection for child victims and combat the
criminal operation of child sex trafficking domestically. All states
should mirror the “trafficking-victim based model” employed by the
118 Id. at 1180-81.
119 See Robinson, 702 F.3d at 29.
120 See Human Trafficking Database, supra note 111.