Gov. Chris Sununu has signed a bill that expands protections for juvenile victims of sex trafficking.
The measure, signed Monday, would protect children from criminal penalties for non-violent crimes, such as stealing and drug dealing. New Hampshire already prohibits child sex-trafficking victims from being prosecuted for prostitution, lewdness and indecent exposure.
Supporters of the bill said children could be forced into committing the offenses. The bill also allows juvenile victims to petition to vacate a court finding of delinquency.
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The measure has broad support, including from groups such as the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Diocese of Manchester.
At least seven states have legislation similar to New Hampshire's and other states are looking at expanding their non-criminalization laws to include offenses beyond prostitution.