Analysis

Synopsis:

 House Bill 161 (HB 161) enacts new law under Criminal Offenses-Human Trafficking, Chapter 30, Article 52 NMSA 1978, creating an affirmative defense to the charge of prostitution for victims of human trafficking.

Analysis:

 House Bill 161 (HB 161) enacts a new section of Chapter 30, Article 52 NMSA 1978, titled: 
•	Affirmative Defense to the Charge of Prostitution-Proof Required.

HB 161 empowers a person charged with prostitution pursuant to Section 30-9-2 NMSA 1978, to assert as an affirmative defense that the defendant is a victim of human trafficking when the offense was committed as a direct result of the actions of a person charged with human trafficking. 

•	To assert the affirmative defense provided for in this section, the defendant charged with the offense must demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant was a victim of human trafficking at the time of the offense. 

•	Official documentation from a federal, state, local or tribal government agency demonstrating that the defendant was a victim of human trafficking at the time of the offense will create a presumption that the defendant's participation in the offense was a direct result of the actions of a person charged with human trafficking. 

•	An official determination from a court that the defendant was a victim of human trafficking at the time of the offense is not required to assert this affirmative defense.

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