2C:13-10 Findings, Declarations Relative to Human Trafficking; Definitions
12. a. The Legislature finds and declares that:
(1)There reportedly are more than 12 million victims of human trafficking and it is estimated that this figure could actually be as high as 27 million;
(2)According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, at least 100,000 human trafficking victims are American children who are an average age of 13 years old;
(3)Advertisements for selling the services of girls as escorts on Internet websites falsely claim that these girls are 18 years of age or older, when the girls actually are minors;
(4)The advertising of these escort services includes minors who are being sold for sex, which constitutes sex trafficking and commercial sexual abuse of minors;
(5)Responding to political and public outcry, the Internet website craigslist.com removed its escort section, but another website with an escort section, backpage.com, has to date refused to do so;
(6)The states of Washington and Connecticut recently enacted laws to require Internet websites, such as backpage.com, and the patrons who advertise on websites, to maintain documentation that they have proved the age of the escorts presented in the advertisements;
(7)The State of New Jersey criminalized human trafficking in 2005; and
(8)Sex trafficking of minors should be eliminated in conformity with federal laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation of children.
b. A person commits the offense of advertising commercial sexual abuse of a minor if:
(1)the person knowingly publishes, disseminates, or displays, or causes directly or indirectly, to be published, disseminated, or displayed, any advertisement for a commercial sex act, which is to take place in this State and which includes the depiction of a minor; or
(2)the person knowingly purchases advertising in this State for a commercial sex act which includes the depiction of a minor.
c. A person who commits the offense of advertising commercial sexual abuse of a minor as established in subsection b. of this section is guilty of a crime of the first degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3, the fine imposed for an offense under this section shall be a fine of at least $25,000, which shall be collected as provided for the collection of fines and restitutions in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4) and forwarded to the Department of the Treasury to be deposited in the “Human Trafficking Survivor’s Assistance Fund” established by section 2 of P.L.2013, c.51 (C.52:17B-238).
d. Nothing in this section shall preclude an indictment and conviction for any other offense defined by the laws of this State.
e. For the purposes of this section:
“Advertisement for a commercial sex act” means any advertisement or offer in electronic or print media, including the Internet, which includes either an explicit or implicit offer for a commercial sex act to occur in this State.
“Commercial sex act” means any act of sexual contact or sexual penetration, as defined in N.J.S.2C:14-1, or any prohibited sexual act, as defined in N.J.S.2C:24-4, for which something of value is given or received by any person.
“Depiction” means any photograph or material containing a photograph or reproduction of a photograph.
“Minor” means a person who is under 18 years of age.
“Photograph” means a print, negative, slide, digital image, motion picture, or videotape, and includes anything tangible or intangible produced by photographing.
f. It shall not be a defense to a violation of this section that the defendant:
(1)did not know the age of the minor depicted in the advertisement; or
(2)claims to know the age of the person depicted, unless there is appropriate proof of age obtained and produced in accordance with subsections g. and h. of this section.
g. It shall be a defense to a violation of this section that the defendant made a reasonable, bona fide attempt to ascertain the true age of the minor depicted in the advertisement by requiring, prior to publication, dissemination, or display of the advertisement, production of a driver’s license, marriage license, birth certificate, or other governmental or educational identification card or paper of the minor depicted in the advertisement and did not rely solely on oral or written representations of the minor’s age, or the apparent age of the minor as depicted. The defendant shall prove the defense established in this subsection by a preponderance of the evidence.
h. The defendant shall maintain and, upon request, produce a record of the identification used to verify the age of the person depicted in the advertisement.
L.2013, c.51, s.12.