Roberts Receives Dragonfly Home Award
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Eric Roberts, R-Oklahoma City, recently received the Dragonfly Home Award for Outstanding Efforts in the Fight to End Human Trafficking for authoring House Bill 2054.
The bill changes the penalty for purchasing prostitution from a misdemeanor to a felony, a change requested by the Oklahoma City Police Vice Unit. Texas made a similar penalty change and found it successful in reducing trafficking. Many of those engaging in prostitution are victims of human trafficking.
"I am grateful to Dragonfly Home for all of their excellent work in helping survivors of human trafficking," Roberts said. "Dragonfly Home meets each individual where they are, providing support and services to help them recover from trafficking abuse. I would like to thank Senator Darrell Weaver and the Oklahoma City Police Vice Unit for their assistance with HB2054 and to a constituent who prompted my interest in running the bill."
Under HB2054, a person can be sentenced to up to three years in prison and is subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for a first offense, $2,500 for a second offense and up to $5,000 for a third or subsequent offense.
If the victim of the offense is a minor, the penalty is a maximum of ten years imprisonment and provides a fine of up to $5,000 for a first offense, $10,000 for a second offense and up to $15,000 for a third or consecutive offense.
The measure would also require the offender to register as a sex offender upon a third conviction. The bill does not increase penalties for people engaging in prostitution.
More information on the Dragonfly Home is available at https://www.thedragonflyhome.org/.
PHOTO: Whitney Anderson, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Dragonfly Home, presents award to Rep. Eric Roberts for HB2054.