Senator Kane Hosts “Playground” Film Screening At Legislative Office Building

March 24, 2010

Documentary Focuses Attention On Child Sex Trafficking

Senator Rob Kane (R-32), primary sponsor of a bill intended to protect children from potential legal harm resulting from sexual exploitation, recently sponsored a screening of a documentary that focuses attention on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the United States and other countries.

The documentary, “Playground”, directed by filmmaker Libby Spears, was recently screened at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

“This film is gut wrenching. Responsible adults do not want to believe that anyone would, or could, sexually exploit children. But, deep in our hearts and minds, we know they do. This documentary focuses our attention on this uncomfortable truth and, I hope, makes all of us who see it more determined than ever to do whatever we can to protect all of our children,” said Senator Kane.

A version of Senator Kane’s proposal, Senate Bill 153, An Act Providing A Safe Harbor For Exploited Children, has been approved by the General Assembly’s Select Committee on Children and is now pending further action by the Judiciary Committee before continuing to advance through the legislative process. Under this bill, the courts would be required to assume that 16- and 17-year olds prosecuted for prostitution were coerced or enticed. Furthermore, the bill states that no one under the age of 16 could be charged with prostitution and calls for increasing the penalties for promoting prostitution of persons younger than 18.

“Fortunately, law enforcement officials in our state do the best they can to ensure that sexually exploited children get help. However, I strongly believe that Connecticut should have a law on the books that explicitly protects these victimized children from even the possibility of legal harm. As responsible adults, it is up to us to do everything in our power to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and, when that fails, to protect and help the victims. Passing the Safe Harbor For Exploited Children bill is something we can, and should, do this year,” said Senator Kane.