The Catholic University of America

CUA Law Professor Mary Leary was quoted in a March 23, 2018 Crux article entitled "New anti-sex trafficking legislation lauded by U.S. Catholic leaders." This article discusses the passage of FOSTA, the legislation Leary has been advocating.

New anti-sex trafficking legislation lauded by U.S. Catholic leaders

From: Crux
Date: March 23, 2018
By: Christopher White

Just days after Pope Francis labeled sex trafficking as “criminal” and apologized for any Catholics who participated in it, the United States Congress has passed legislation that would allow prosecutors to go after websites that advertise for prostitutes - a move hailed by leading Catholic activists as an embrace of Francis’s plea to end the scourge of human trafficking.

The bill, known as FOSTA (Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act), had previously passed the House in February, and was approved by the Senate on Wednesday.

President Donald Trump is now expected to sign it into law although an exact date has yet to be announced. Once it takes effect, the legislation will amend the Communications Decency Act, which passed in 1996, and has allowed websites to evade criminal and civil actions from victims of online sex trafficking, which often included teenagers being advertised as sex workers.

Under particular scrutiny is the website - a popular online classified advertisement site that has been accused of knowingly being involved in sex trafficking, yet up until now has successfully been shielded from prosecution.

Mary Leary, professor of law at The Catholic University of America, praised the legislation as “one more blow to the exploitation of human beings and treating them as commodities.”

Leary said that the legislation should receive widespread support, but added that Catholics, who “hold that all people, even the most marginalized, should have access to justice,” should be especially pleased.

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Click here to read the full article.

Mary G. Leary   

Professor Mary G. Leary's
Areas of Expertise

Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Technology

Exploitation of children and women

Human Trafficking

For additional information about our professors' areas of speciality, see the Catholic University Experts page.