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Bipartisan effort launched to combat demand-side of child-sex trafficking 
     LOS ANGELES (April 11, 2014) – Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Don Knabe, joined by a bipartisan panel of lawmakers that included Sen. Ted Lieu, today formally announced legislation and an increased public awareness campaign to push for harsher penalties for people who buy, sell and exploit young girls for sex.
     “Instead of going after those who sell the sex, we need to go after those who buy the sex," said Lieu, D-Redondo Beach, in support of the effort, which included Lieu’s Senate Bill 1388 to strengthen penalties for buyers and sellers of minors for sex.
Joining Knabe and Lieu in calling on lawmakers to develop a plan to increase penalties on those convicted of promoting or participating in the sexual trafficking of minors at the front steps of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration were Sen. Bob Huff, R-San Diego, and Daphne Phung, founder of California Against Slavery. 
     “We want to shift the paradigm to focus on the real criminals, who are the buyers of sex, and help the real victims," Lieu said. "Helping the child victims must be a top priority to help ensure public safety. This effort will not only seek increased penalties on buyers of sex, but also increase support and counseling for the victims of commercial sexual exploitation.”
     Read full Press Release HERE. Read Lieu's Fact Sheet on SB 1388 HERE. Read a Los Angeles Times story on the event HERE.
    PHOTO CAPTION: Sen. Lieu makes a point about SB 1388 while talking with reporters. (Photo by Ray Sotero).