Senate supports cracking down on sex trafficking and passes Sen. John Cooke’s bill | MyWindsorNow.com
James Redmond
jredmond@greeleytribune.com

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Senate supports cracking down on sex trafficking and passes Sen. John Cooke’s bill

Cooke

The Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed Sen. John Cooke's bill designed to guard against sexual trafficking of children in Colorado.

The Greeley Republican's proposed law, House Bill 1172, would require judges to sentence anyone convicted of human trafficking of a minor for sexual servitude to a minimum of eight years in prison, according to a news release from the Colorado Senate Republicans.

With Senate approval, the only remaining step is for the governor to sign the bill into law.

In 2016, Colorado saw a 56 percent increase in human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, according to the release.

Cooke, a former Weld County sheriff, worked as an investigator and focused his career on protecting Colorado's most vulnerable citizens from sexual assaults, rapes and violent crimes, according to the release.

"Sexual crimes against children do not deserve our leniency," Cooke said in the release. "This is simply one of the most disgusting and abhorrent crimes a person can commit. Children are innocent, and they depend on us for protection. The idea that we could let these truly terrible individuals back into our communities to reoffend is unacceptable. We have to protect children. This bill is a small but vitally important step in keeping more kids safe."