The Norman Transcript

Local news

February 3, 2014

State officials press for tougher laws to combat human trafficking

NORMAN — A 15-year-old girl was working as a prostitute in Tulsa in September when she was arrested during a prostitution sting operation.

She had become a prostitute at a younger age because she saw the practice as a way to get money and attention from men, a state law-enforcement official said.

The girl, who was taken to a Tulsa shelter, is a victim of a crime — human trafficking – that the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, legislators and others are trying to crack down on further.

This legislative session,

lawmakers have introduced about a dozen bills that were drafted by the Bureau of Narcotics. Among other things, they would raise the statute of limitations, increase prison time for human trafficking and require those convicted of human trafficking to register as sex offenders.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt also has formed a working group to share intelligence on human trafficking. The group, composed of officials from various state, local and federal criminal-justice agencies, met for the first time on Thursday.

Human trafficking is a broad term that covers a range of activities, but generally involves use of force, fraud or oppression to keep someone in a labor or service situation. Examples are minors being forced into prostitution and adults who are forced to work off a debt in a massage parlor. Trafficking doesn’t refer necessarily to transporting of victims, but to exploiting them criminally for personal gain.

Bills introduced by Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow and Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa would establish a 12-year statute of limitations for human trafficking.

Bills offered by Crain, Newberry and Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City would require human traffickers to serve 85 percent of their prison sentences. Bills from Newberry, Crain and Rep. Pam Peterson, R-Tulsa would mandate the sex-offender registration.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Crime briefs

    Woman charged with assault A Norman woman was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon Monday after admitting that she threw a knife at someone, court records show. Jamie Marie Rietz, 32, was charged in Cleveland County ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Jeremy Ryan Sellers, 20, second-degree burglary and malicious injury to property under $1,000 in concert and together with Ryan ...

    July 22, 2014

  • County want details of insurance coverage

    Cleveland County commissioners will formally request particulars on their insurance coverage from the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma Self Insurance Group....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart journeys from volunteer to director at Women’s Resource Center

    Kristy Stewart walked into the Women’s Resource Center as a volunteer 30 years ago. The volunteer work soon turned into a staff position, and that one into another and another and so on. Along with the new responsibilities came her ...

    July 21, 2014

  • garnervisit1 Family, friends recall Garner’s Norman roots

    Flowers started arriving at the James Garner statue at Main Street and Jones Avenue Sunday morning after residents learned of the famed actor and Norman native’s death Saturday night in California. Norman resident Roy Hamilton, who grew ...

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • James Garner James Garner dies at 86

    NEW YORK — Few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety....

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos