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OverviewIn this Sunday Edition we'll take a closer look at serious crime not often talked about in Utah: child sex trafficking. Plus will discuss a bill that would create a board to oversee the possible relocation of the prison. And Doug Wright weighs in on a tough anti-smoking bill that would ban people from smoking in a car when a child is a passenger.
Sex trafficking is not a crime most people think about or realize still happens in this country and our own state. But a report released in the fall shows America's legal system is failing children who are sexually exploited for money, and that includes Utah's system.
Shared Hope International gave Utah a "D" grade, saying our state does not do enough to protect victims and adequately punish perpetrators. Nationally, victims are defined as under age 18 and not able to consent. In Utah, victims are considered under age 14.
And Utah laws do not add special penalties when perpetrators pay to have sex with children or view pornography. A bill before the legislature, HB163 would strengthen Utah's sex trafficking laws.
Richard Piatt discussed the issue with Stephanie Larsen, an advocate for victims. Four generations of women in her family were victims of sex trafficking. High school student Madi Palmer also joined the discussion. She is a volunteer with with Backyard Broadcast, a youth organization that seeks to end child sex-trafficking.
Is it time to move the state prison? A lot of people say yes and SB72 would create a board to oversee the possible relocation. But time is running out to deal with that bill. Estimated costs to move the prison fall in between the range of $550 million and $600 million. But it will open up that spot of prime real estate at the point of the mountain for new development.
Critics argue SB72 is being rushed and worry about the influence of special interests. Richard Piatt discussed the issue with the bill's sponsor, Senator Scott Jenkins, and majority whip, Rep. Greg Hughes
Protecting the health of Utah kids is what HB13 is all about. It would penalize adults who smoke in cars when kids are inside. Our own Doug Wright was willing to risk one of his most cherished belongings so that you understand his opinion on the issue.