Section 12-15-701

Definitions; applicability of prostitution statutes; procedures.

(a) For the purposes of this section, sexually exploited child shall mean an individual under the age of 18 years who is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court and who has been subjected to sexual exploitation because he or she is any of the following:

(1) A victim of the crime of human trafficking sexual servitude as provided in Section 13A-6-150, et seq.

(2) Engaged in prostitution as provided in Section 13A-12-120 or 13A-12-121.

(3) A victim of the crime of promoting prostitution as provided in Section 13A-12-111, 13A-12-112, or 13A-12-113.

(b) A sexually exploited child may not be adjudicated delinquent or convicted of a crime of prostitution as provided in Section 13A-12-120 or 13A-12-121, or any municipal ordinance prohibiting such acts.

(c) In any proceeding based upon a child's arrest for an act of prostitution, there is a presumption that the child satisfies the definition of a sexually exploited child as provided in this section.

(d) If a law enforcement officer or a person seeks to file a complaint against a child for an offense of prostitution as provided in Section 13A-12-120 or 13A-12-121, the juvenile court intake officer shall evaluate the complaint to determine if the child is a sexually exploited child and could have another complaint filed stating that the child is alleged to be in need of supervision or alleged to be dependent, and not a child alleged to be delinquent, pursuant to Rule 12 of the Alabama Rules of Juvenile Procedure. A juvenile probation officer who is designated to be a juvenile court intake officer may determine if a child alleged to be in need of supervision is appropriate for an informal adjustment pursuant to Rule 15 of the Alabama Rules of Juvenile Procedure.

(e) If a petition alleging that a sexually exploited child is in need of supervision or is dependent is filed, a sexually exploited child may be adjudicated a child in need of supervision or a dependent child pursuant to Section 12-15-102(4) and (8). Once the sexually exploited child is adjudicated, the juvenile court shall retain jurisdiction over the sexually exploited child and may enforce prior orders requiring payment of court-ordered monies pursuant to Section 12-15-117. The juvenile court may issue any requisite order or conduct any hearing necessary to protect the health or safety of a sexually exploited child that is determined to be in the best interests of the child. The juvenile court may also, on an emergency basis, enter an order of protection or restraint to protect the health or safety of a sexually exploited child.

(f) A sexually exploited child who commits an act of prostitution as provided in Section 13A-12-120 or 13A-12-121 may not be transferred from the jurisdiction of juvenile court to any adult court pursuant to Section 12-15-203, except in those cases where the child has been convicted or adjudicated a youthful offender divesting the juvenile court of jurisdiction as provided in Sections 12-15-203(i) and 12-15-204(b).

(g) A sexually exploited child who commits an act of prostitution as provided in Section 13A-12-120 or 13A-12-121 shall be afforded all rights pursuant to Section 12-15-202.

(h) All social and community services shall be made available to a sexually exploited child. Services may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:

(1) Forensic evidence collection.

(2) Forensic interviewing.

(3) Counseling.

(4) Advocacy.

(5) Shelter.

(6) Alcohol or substance abuse treatment.

(7) Mental health services.

(8) Medical treatment.

(9) Legal services.

(10) Educational tutoring, counseling, and language interpreter services.

(11) Crisis intervention services.

(12) Safety planning.

(13) Investigation and prosecution of the individuals subjecting the child to sexual exploitation or abuse.

(Act 2016-282, §3.)