Legal Statutes & Definitions

Minnesota law defines sex trafficking as:

The “receiving, recruiting, enticing, harboring, providing, or obtaining by any means an individual to aid in the prostitution of the individual” or “ receiving profit or anything of value, knowing or having reason to know it is derived from [sex trafficking].” Minn. Stat. § 609.321, subd. 7a.

Related Statutes:

  • Minnesota punishes sex trafficking with a maximum of 15 years for an adult, 20 years for an individual under 18, and 25 years where an aggravating factor is involved. Minn. Stat. § 609.322.
  • Consent or mistake as to age shall not be a defense to prosecutions under section 609.322 or 609.324. Minn. Stat. § 609.325, subd. 2.
  • The term “prostitution” means engaging or offering or agreeing to engage for hire in sexual penetration or sexual contact. Minn. Stat. § 609.321, subd. 9.

Safe Harbor Legislation

In 2011, Minnesota passed the Safe Harbors for Sexually Exploited Youth law. Safe Harbors for Sexually Exploited Youth, which will go into full effect August 2014, increases the penalties for buyers and adds the term “sexual exploitation” to the state’s child protection code, recognizing sexually exploited youth as victims, rather than criminals. Please see Safe Harbor for more information.

Minnesota law defines labor trafficking as:

The “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, enticement, provision, obtaining, or receipt of a person by any means for the purpose of:

  • debt bondage or forced labor or services;
  • slavery or practices similar to slavery; or
  • the removal of organs through the use of coercion or intimidation; or
  • Receiving profit or anything of value, knowing or having reason to know it is derived from [labor trafficking]

Minn. Stat. § 609.281

Related Statutes:

  • The crime of labor trafficking is a felony punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment and $30,000 fine for trafficking of adults and 40 years/$40,000 for trafficking of minors Minn. Stat. § 609.282
  • Additionally, Minn. Stat. § 609.283 criminalized unlawful conduct with respect to documents, and Minn. Stat. § 609.284 defines defenses to labor trafficking and civil corporate liability.

Additional Considerations and Resources

In recognition of the complexity of the issue of Human Trafficking, MNHTTF has compiled a list of additional considerations to aid in understanding of the issue and how it presents itself in Minnesota. For a more complete understanding of the issue of trafficking in Minnesota, please see the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force Principal Positions.

Please also see the fact sheet, Human Trafficking & Legislation and Policy.