This legislation attempts to weaponize nuisance law against sex trafficking at hotels and similar locations. It is directed at the owners and operators of property used for prostitution and sexual servitude.
Where the owner or operator is facing sexually related charges and the case is resolved by:
- a plea of guilty under any first offender statute
- a plea of nolo contendere
- an adjudication in accountability court, or
- a dismissal as a result of successful completion of a pretrial diversion agreement;
this can serve as prima facie evidence that the property involved is a nuisance.
In addition, if there are two or more unrelated incidents of sexually related charges within a 24 month period, the district attorney may give notice to the owner/operator of the property of those events, and if there is another sexually related charge within 24 months after that notice, then that can be considered prima facie evidence that the property is a nuisance.
Charges which occur as a result of cooperation between the owner or operator and law enforcement are not to be considered for these purposes.
Such prima facie evidence may be used to pursue remedies for abatement of a nuisance. This can result in closure, seizure, forfeiture, and other consequences to the property.
2019-2020 SB 158 / OCGA 41-3-1