Progress for human trafficking survivors

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Lawmakers have passed a bill that would help Nebraska sex trafficking victims remove criminal convictions from their records.

Lawmakers unanimously passed LB -1132 Wednesday. The bill is part of a push to focus less on punishing survivors and more on targeting traffickers and sex purchasers. It would allow human trafficking survivors to ask a judge to aside their conviction and seal their criminal record for offenses they committed while under a trafficker's influence.

Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln says she introduced the bill because traffickers exert tremendous control over their victims. The victims are usually women and girls who are kept in prostitution through threats, violence and drug addiction.