Helena – A bipartisan bill aimed at protecting victims of sex trafficking – supported by Sen. Tester – was signed into law by President Trump yesterday. The law will make it easier to crack down on online sex trafficking and hold perpetrators accountable.
Based on his horrific record, there’s unfortunately little question which way wealthy East Coast developer Matt Rosendale would have voted. That’s because time and again, Rosendale has voted against protecting victims of sex crimes and human trafficking.
As a state legislator, Rosendale voted against a bipartisan bill to help end human trafficking in Montana, protect victims’ rights, and require perpetrators found guilty to register as sex offenders. The bill had widespread support and became law in 2015 without Rosendale’s blessing.
After the law was passed, Montana rescued 83 percent more adult trafficking victims and rescued 400 percent more juvenile trafficking victims, from 2015-2016. Attorney General Tim Fox attributed the massive spike in rescues in part to the new law. And because of this law that Rosendale opposed, Montana’s child sex trafficking prevention rating improved from a “D” to an “A” on a national nonprofit’s report card.
Rosendale also voted against creating a permanent sexual assault prosecution unit in the Montana Department of Justice, which would help our state’s law enforcement and prosecutors in combating sex crimes; he voted against funding a service notifying victims of sex crimes when their attacker is released from prison; and also voted against support for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
“Matt Rosendale’s long, dark record of failing to protect Montana’s victims of sex crimes and human trafficking is appalling,” said Brooke Bainum, spokeswoman for the Montana Democratic Party. “Rosendale is either woefully ignorant of the grave problems of human trafficking and sex crimes or he doesn’t believe they are things he should bother trying to do anything about. Either way, his consistent opposition to protecting victims of sex trafficking, abuse, and other sex crimes is unacceptable and dangerous to Montana.”
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