18 U.S.C. § 1591 makes it a federal crime to engage in the sex trafficking of children under the age of 18, or to do so by means of force, fraud, or coercion. The statute criminalizes the actions of anyone who knowingly recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides, obtains, or maintains a minor for the purpose of commercial sex acts. It also applies to those who benefit financially from participating in a venture that engages in such acts. The law does not require proof of crossing state or international lines, nor does it require proof of force, fraud, or coercion if the victim is a minor. Penalties are severe, with a minimum of 15 years to life imprisonment if the victim is under 14, or if force, fraud, or coercion is involved, and 10 years to life if the victim is aged 14-17. Obstruction of the statute's enforcement can lead to up to 25 years imprisonment. Convicted individuals are also mandated to pay restitution to their victims.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1593, courts are required to order defendants convicted of sexual exploitation crimes, including child sex trafficking under 18 U.S.C. § 1591, to pay restitution to their victims. Restitution is to cover the full amount of the victim's losses, which can include costs for medical services, physical and occupational therapy, necessary transportation, temporary housing, and child care expenses, as well as lost income and attorneys' fees and costs. The goal of this statute is to ensure that victims are compensated for the harm they have suffered as a result of the crime.
18 U.S.C. § 2421, also known as the White-Slave Traffic Act or the Mann Act, makes it illegal to transport any individual across state lines with the intent that such individual engage in prostitution or any other sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense. This law is designed to combat human trafficking and sexual exploitation, including the trafficking of children for sexual purposes.
18 U.S.C. § 2422(b) makes it a federal offense to use the mail, the internet, or any means of interstate or foreign commerce to knowingly persuade, induce, entice, or coerce an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years to engage in prostitution or any criminal sexual activity. This includes the use of emails, chat rooms, text messages, or any other form of electronic communication. The statute does not require that the defendant or the victim cross state lines, making it applicable to purely intrastate activities that utilize interstate communication systems.
18 U.S.C. § 2425 prohibits the use of mail, any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce, such as the internet, to knowingly transmit the name, address, telephone number, social security number, or any other identifying information about a person under 16 years of age. The intent must be to entice, encourage, offer, or solicit any person to engage in any illegal sexual activity. Violation of this statute can result in a prison sentence of up to five years.