California Attorney General Kamala Harris Lauds Record On Fighting Human Trafficking
Thursday, April 26, 2012
California Attorney General Kamala Harris touted her efforts this week to fight human trafficking.
Aired 4/26/12 on KPBS News.
Family of girl who killed her pimp accuses Harris of playing politics with the subject.
Attorney General Harris issued a press release Tuesday announcing the progress of two anti-human trafficking bills.
“Human trafficking is a criminal industry that is expanding rapidly across the globe, including here in California," Harris said. "I am proud to sponsor these bills against human trafficking and am committed to this fight. The same transnational gangs that traffic drugs and guns across our border also traffic human beings and we must counter their threat.”
But Harris has declined to take positions on former sex trafficking victim Sara Kruzan’s petition for a new trial and whether Kruzan was a victim of domestic violence when she killed her pimp at age 16. Harris withdrew an earlier opinion stating Kruzan’s relationship with her pimp was a professional and financial one or at worst criminal. She has not offered replacement position. Instead, she has asked that the case be returned to Riverside. Kruzan’s aunt Anne Rogan said she appreciates Harris’ push to combat human trafficking but it means little if she refuses to take a position on Kruzan’s case.
“It appears to be political maneuvering," Rogan said. "It is also very perplexing. I understand back in the 90s, sex trafficking and human trafficking weren’t even in our vocabularies. But clearly this case is one of the most egregious cases of sex trafficking.”
Harris’ spokesman Shum Preston declined to comment on the Kruzan case other than to say, “hopefully a good decision was made” by withdrawing the earlier position on Kruzan.