United States: Asset Forfeiture Penalty Creates Harsher Consequences for Human Traffickers
Friday, January 29, 2010 1:10 PM

27 January 2010


Arrested in May 2008 for trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors, Kalvin Craven became the first man to face consequences under AB17, the new human trafficking law in Alameda County, CA. A key aspect of AB17 is that it forces criminals such as Craven to face asset forfeiture. More specifically, AB17 "provides the procedure for the forfeiture of property acquired through a pattern of criminal profiteering activity and for the forfeiture of the proceeds of a pattern of criminal profiteering activity." 


Furthermore, before AB17, the fine was a mere $5,000 for human trafficking in Alameda County. When pimps are generating up to $67,200 per victim per year, and requiring that girls meet quotas of about $500 a day, a $5,000 fee was deemed not a harsh enough punishment for traffickers. Now, under AB17, beyond serving fifteen years in prison, Craven will have to pay up to $20,000. Fifty percent of fines collected under AB17 will be dedicated to services that benefit sexually exploited minors.  


The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office not only intends to implement harsher consequences for human traffickers under AB17, but also intends to help crack down on pimps through the implementation of HEAT Watch (Human Exploitation and Trafficking). HEAT Watch intends to help girls escape trafficking with the assistance of police, local, state and federal law enforcement, and civilians.  Craven’s case gives hope to HEAT Watch, as it was a local minister (and previous pimp), who was responsible for helping a seventeen-year-old escape from Craven’s prostitution ring, leading to Craven’s arrest.  


Compiled from: Kristin Bender, Alameda County’s crackdown on human traffickers gets tougher, Oakland Tribune (25 January 2010).