Senate backs harsher penalties for pandering, pimping

Offenders in Georgia convicted of pimping or pandering would face stiffer consequences under a bill approved Monday by the state Senate.

Under Senate Bill 278 by Sen. Renee Unterman, second and subsequent convictions for the crime would be a felony and carry a punishment of between one and ten years in jail for victims 16 and older. For convictions involving victims younger than 16, the penalty would be ten to 30 years in jail and a maximum fine of $100,000.

The bill, approved 53-0 by the Senate, takes the work Georgia has done combating child sex trafficking a step forward, said Unterman, R-Buford.

“It’s like a broken-glass syndrome. If you don’t take care of the little stuff, the big stuff occurs including drugs, crimes, murders … and the heinous crime of taking people’s self-esteem, life and ability to have a brighter future.”

The bill also requires offenders convicted for a second time to be registered on the state’s sex-offender registry.

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The bill must now work its way through the state House for consideration.

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