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Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 9:11am

Sex Trade Bill Heads to Deal's Desk

The Senate has unanimously approved legislation that overhauls the way Georgia treats sex traffickers by imposing higher fines and stiffer sentences while also offering new treatment options to people who could be victims of the sex slave trade.

The measure was approved 54-0 on Tuesday, capping a four-year push on the issue. The bill now heads to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.

The legislation calls for a 25-year minimum sentence for those convicted of using coercion to traffic someone under the age of 18, and slaps a minimum sentence of five years on those who pay for sex with a 16-year-old. People trying to have sex from someone even younger face at least 10 years behind bars.