Sex Tourism Victims Suing Under The PROTECT Act

Outside picture of courthouse collums

I often come upon great guides to particular areas of law when I'm researching issues.The following information is from a guide put together for the Human Trafficking Legal Center. A complete copy of the guide is here

This guide provides invaluable information on the PROTECT Act and it's use in prosecuting those that travel internationally for sex tourism and the civil remedies for minor victims of the sex trade. There is a growing field of civil practice working to recover monetary damages for the victims. 

In 2003, the United States Congress passed a law to fight sex tourism and sexual abuse of children. Congress titled the law the Prosecutorial
Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today (“PROTECT”) Act. Under the PROTECT Act, any U.S. citizen or
legal permanent resident who sexually abuses or exploits children, anywhere in the world, can be held accountable in U.S. federal courts.

TRAVEL WITH INTENT TO ENGAGE IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT (18 U.S.C. § 2423(b))

This law makes it a criminal offense:

  • for a U.S. citizen or green-card holder to travel abroad for the purpose of raping, molesting, or engaging in prostitution with anyone under the age of 18
  • for any person to travel to the United States, or between states within the United States, for the purpose of raping, molesting, or engaging in prostitution with anyone under the age of 18

ENGAGING IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT IN FOREIGN PLACES
(18 U.S.C. § 2423(c))

This law makes it a criminal offense:

  • for a United States citizen or green-card holder who travels in foreign commerce or resides, either temporarily or permanently, in a foreign country
  • to rape, molest, or engage in prostitution with anyone under the age of 182 Defendants can face criminal sentences of up to 30 years in prison for each violation of
  • the law.

In addition, the PROTECT Act created a private right of action for victims to bring civil cases for damages:

PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION (18 U.S.C. § 2255(a))

The law allows any person who was under 18 at the time they were trafficked, victimized in pornography, or sexually abused by a person engaging in interstate
travel or sex tourism (among other crimes), and who suffers an injury, to:

  • file a civil suit in a federal district court in the United States
  • recover the actual damages the victim sustains or $150,000 in statutory damages
  • recover reasonable attorney’s fees and other litigation costs
  • recover punitive damages, as well as other forms of relief

Bessell, Sarah; Crisp, Martin; Foster, Deanna; and Ghodke, Isha,
“U.S. Legal Remedies for Minor Victims of Sex Tourism and Sex Trafficking,”
The Human Trafficking Legal Center & Ropes & Gray LLP; 2018.

If You Have Questions Regarding Your Rights as a Survivor of Rape or Sexual Abuse

Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.

 

 

Be the first to comment!
Post a Comment