First-year state Rep. Debra Entenman, D-Kent, had her first bill signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday in Olympia.
House Bill 1055 cracks down on sex traffickers who attempt to circumvent no-contact orders placed against them by their victims.
“I am so proud that my first bill not only passed unanimously out of the House and the Senate and was signed by the governor, but that it is such an important one for anyone forced into prostitution,” Entenman said in a news release. “We are sending a clear message that the heinous act of sex trafficking will not be tolerated and we will punish those individuals involved in its promotion.”
Entenman’s legislation amends current law to allow for the warrantless arrest for violation of a no-contact order for promoting prostitution and trafficking when probable cause exists. This allows police officers to arrest a trafficker who has a no-contact order against them and has been determined to be a threat.
Prior to the amendment, law enforcement could arrest someone without a warrant when probable cause exists the individual has committed a felony, including for violating certain protective orders. But a no-contact order for promoting prostitution and trafficking cases was not one of those situations when a warrantless arrest is allowed.