I am concluding my Pennsylvania Human Trafficking Statute blog series with important information about restitution to victims. Also, as explained below, pursuant to the statute, victims of human trafficking may be eligible for benefits and compensation under the Crime Victims Act.
The Human Trafficking Statute provides that the following items may be included in an order of restitution:
- For the period during which the victim of human trafficking was engaged in involuntary servitude, the greater of the following:
- The value of the victim’s time during the period of involuntary servitude as guaranteed under the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the laws of this Commonwealth.
- The gross income or value to the defendant of the services of the victim.
- The amount the victim was promised or the amount an individual in the position of the victim would have reasonably expected to earn. This clause shall not apply to the amount an individual would have reasonably expected to earn in an illegal activity.
- The return of property of the victim of human trafficking, cost of damage to the property or the replacement value of the property if taken, destroyed or damaged beyond repair as a result of human trafficking.
In addition, certain assets of individuals, entities, or organizations engaged in planning or perpetrating, supporting, or concealing an act in violation of the statute shall be subject to forfeiture and sale. After payment of expenses of the proceedings for forfeiture and sale, and reimbursement to law enforcement agencies, the balance of the proceeds shall be distributed as follows:
- Thirty percent to the office of the prosecuting attorney to be used to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases.
- Seventy percent to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, one-half of which shall be used to fund grant programs and one-half to be used by the Office of Victims’ Services to provide services to victims of human trafficking as set forth in the Crime Victims Act.