SCP Media Advisory: Abuse Survivors in Erie to Urge Senators to Act to Help Prevent Further Abuse

ERIE (Oct. 29, 2018) Survivors of abuse by Catholic clergy will speak at the Erie County Courthouse on Thursday to urge the Senate to return to Session and pass legislation to help prevent further abuse and ensure that every single survivor can hold their abuser accountable in a court of law.

--- MEDIA WELCOME ---

Who: Jim VanSickle, Survivor Advocacy Coordinator for Stop Child Predators who survived clergy abuse from David Poulson, who last month pled guilty to abusing two other victims who were within the statute of limitations, and Ryan O’Connor, survivor of clergy abuse from a monsignor at Our Mother of Sorrows parish in Johnstown, will speak about the need for Senators to return to Harrisburg and work with the House to secure passage of legislation to give childhood sexual abuse survivors justice.

What: A news conference to call for the PA Senate to return to session to pass comprehensive legislation to prevent abuse and allow survivors to hold abusers accountable.

When: Thursday, Nov. 1 at 10:30 a.m.

Where: Erie County Courthouse, 140 West Sixth Street, Erie, PA 16501

Why: “It is time for the Senate to return to session and pass a statute of limitations reform to give Pennsylvania’s survivors their chance at justice they’ve been waiting for,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap.

For more information, please visit www.stopchildpredators.org or the group’s Facebook page.

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SCP Media Advisory: Abuse Survivors in Greensburg to Urge Senators to Act to Help Prevent Further Abuse

MEDIA ADVISORY

Abuse Survivors Urge Senators to Act to Help Prevent Further Abuse

GREENSBURG (Oct. 29, 2018) Survivors of abuse by Catholic clergy will speak at the Westmoreland County Courthouse on Wednesday to urge the Senate to return to Session and pass legislation to help prevent further abuse and ensure that every single survivor can hold their abuser accountable in a court of law.

--- MEDIA WELCOME ---

Who: Jim VanSickle, Survivor Advocacy Coordinator for Stop Child Predators and clergy abuse survivor, and Ryan O’Connor, survivor of clergy abuse from a monsignor at Our Mother of Sorrows parish in Johnstown, will speak about the need for Senators to return to Harrisburg and work with the House to secure passage of legislation to give childhood sexual abuse survivors justice.

What: A news conference to call for the PA Senate to return to session to pass comprehensive legislation to prevent abuse and allow survivors to hold abusers accountable.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 2:30 p.m.

Where: Westmoreland County Courthouse, 2 N. Main St., Greensburg, PA 15601

Why: “The Senate has delayed a vote on this legislation for long enough,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap. “All many survivors want is to see their abusers in court. By returning to session and passing a statute of limitations reform, Pennsylvania’s Senators could give survivors their long-awaited justice.”

For more information, please visit www.stopchildpredators.org or the group’s Facebook page.

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SCP Media Advisory: Abuse Survivors Urge Senators to Act to Help Prevent Further Abuse

EBENSBURG (Oct. 29, 2018) Survivors of abuse by Catholic clergy will speak at the Cambria County Courthouse on Wednesday to urge the Senate to return to Session and pass legislation to help prevent further abuse and ensure that every single survivor can hold their abuser accountable in a court of law.

--- MEDIA WELCOME ---

Who: Jim VanSickle, Survivor Advocacy Coordinator for Stop Child Predators and clergy abuse survivor, and Ryan O’Connor, survivor of clergy abuse from a monsignor at Our Mother of Sorrows parish in Johnstown, will speak about the need for Senators to return to Harrisburg and work with the House to secure passage of legislation to give childhood sexual abuse survivors justice.

What: A news conference to call for the PA Senate to return to session to pass comprehensive legislation to prevent abuse and allow survivors to hold abusers accountable.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 10:30 a.m.

Where: Cambria County Courthouse, 200 South Center Street, Ebensburg, PA 15931

Why: “Survivors have waited far too long to see their abusers in court,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap. “It is time for the Senate to return to Harrisburg and pass legislation that will give survivors a chance at justice.”

For more information, please visit www.stopchildpredators.org or the group’s Facebook page.

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SCP Media Advisory: "Senators McGarrigle, Killion and Rafferty join with National Child Abuse Advocates, Abuse Survivors to Urge Colleagues to Act to Help Prevent Further Abuse"

MEDIA (Oct. 24, 2018) Stop Child Predators (SCP) will join lawmakers and a survivor of abuse by Catholic clergy to urge the Senate to return to Session and pass legislation to help prevent further abuse and ensure that every single survivor can hold their abuser accountable in a court of law.

--- MEDIA WELCOME ---

Who: Stop Child Predators, a national children’s advocacy organization, Sen. Tom Killion, Sen. Tom McGarrigle, Sen. John Rafferty and an abuse survivor working to secure passage of legislation to implement the statewide grand jury’s recommendations.

What: A news conference to call for the PA Senate to return to session to pass comprehensive legislation to prevent abuse and allow survivors to hold abusers accountable.

When: Thursday, Oct. 25 at 4:00 p.m.

Where: Delaware County Courthouse, 201 W. Front St., Media, PA

Why: “Survivors deserve to have their day in court,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap. “The Senate should return to Session and pass a comprehensive statute of reform that will give these victims their long-awaited justice.”

For more information, please visit www.stopchildpredators.org or the group’s Facebook page.

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SCP Statement: PA State Senate Ignores Survivors’ Calls for Justice

HARRISBURG (OCTOBER 17, 2018) – Stop Child Predators (SCP) is urging every member of the PA State Senate to send a strong message to child predators – and those who would protect them – and vote no on the amended version of SB 261, which protects the Roman Catholic Church from any liability for decades of covering up horrific crimes against children.

“It is unconscionable that the Senate would even consider passing a bill that protects the very institution that bears principal responsibility for decades of abuse against children,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap. “We’re urging every senator to focus on the survivors and reject this legislation.”

SCP supports the major recommendations that were made by the statewide grand jury that investigated the abuses, which include; tightening the law that requires teachers, clergy, police and many other professionals to report abuse; eliminating age limits for victims of sexual abuse in childhood to file criminal complaints; and eliminating nondisclosure agreements that bar victims from cooperating in criminal prosecutions.

SCP also supports opening the “two-year window” so that survivors can hold their abusers and the institutions that allowed the abuse accountable in a court of law.  The amended version of SB 261 lacks this key provision. 

SCP also supports the ability of survivors to elect to participate in a compensation fund to recover for the injuries suffered at the hands of abusers and their institutions.  SCP does not support a compensation fund that would require survivors to participate in the fund or that allows institutions that enabled abuses for decades to opt out of the fund.    

“On Wednesday, my abuser entered a guilty plea yesterday in Jefferson County and, still, here we are fighting for our right to have our day in court,” said Jim VanSickle, SCP’s Survivor Advocacy Coordinator. Jim’s abuser, former Catholic priest David Poulson, was charged with indecent assault, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors.

The Diocese of Erie was aware that Poulson was a sexual predator since May 2010 but failed to report him to authorities until September 2016, according to the Office of Attorney General.

“It makes absolutely no sense to think that the same church that covered up for this man – and many, many others – will not be held accountable,” VanSickle said. “We have fought for too long to walk away now. I am asking every single senator to vote no on this legislation. The Senate must approve legislation that is acceptable to the House and send it to Governor Tom Wolf.

For more information, please visit SCP’s Facebook page.

SCP Media Advisory: "As Abuser Prepares to Enter Plea, One of His Victims Urges the Senate to Act"

HARRISBURG (Oct. 16, 2018) Jim VanSickle, Survivor Advocacy Coordinator for Stop Child Predators (SCP), will address the media and fellow survivors the day before David Poulson, his abuser, is scheduled to enter a plea in Brookville.

“His plea will provide some measure of closure for me and the others he abused. But I am here with fellow survivors because this fight isn’t over. If the Senate does not act, there will be another David Poulson. We need the Senate to act,” Jim said.

In May of this year Paulson was charged with multiple child sex crimes. The Diocese of Erie knew since at least May 2010 of the abuse, according to the Office of the Attorney General. He is slated to enter a plea at 9:00 a.m. on October 17.

 --- MEDIA WELCOME ---

Who: Jim VanSickle of Stop Child Predators will join with other survivors and advocates to address the media and urge all senators to support SB 261 the day before former Catholic Priest David Paulson is believed to plead guilty to abuse charges.

What: A media availability to provide an opportunity for all survivors to share their experiences with the community and lawmakers.

When: Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 1:00 p.m.

Where: The Capitol Rotunda

 Why: “The House has acted and now is the time for the Senate to vote on this bill and send it to Governor Tom Wolf for his signature,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap.

For more information, please visit SCP’s Facebook Page or contact Danielle Gross at 717.724.1681.

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SCP Media Advisory: "SCP, Clergy Survivors in Scranton to Urge Lawmakers to Act to Help Prevent Further Abuse"

SCRANTON (Oct. 11, 2018) Stop Child Predators (SCP) will join with survivors of abuse by Catholic clergy to urge lawmakers to pass legislation to help prevent further abuse and ensure that every single survivor can hold their abuser accountable in a court of law.

--- MEDIA WELCOME ---

Who: Stop Child Predators, a national children’s advocacy organization, and abuse survivors working to secure passage of legislation to implement the statewide grand jury’s recommendations.

What: A news conference to provide an opportunity for all survivors to share their experiences with the community and lawmakers.

When: Friday, Oct. 12 at 11:00 a.m.

Where: Lackawanna County Courthouse, 200 North Washington Avenue Scranton, Pennsylvania 18503. Side of courthouse by Linden Street.

Why: “Survivors have been waiting far too long to have their experiences heard by the perpetrators who abused them. Lawmakers must put survivors ahead of special interest groups and reach a consensus on meaningful, effective legislation. This will help survivors heal and to prevent future abuses,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap.

For more information, please visit www.stopchildpredators.org or contact Danielle Gross at 717.724.1681.

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SCP Media Advisory: "Clergy Abuse Survivors to Urge Lawmakers to Act to Help Prevent Further Abuse"

ALLENTOWN (Oct. 10, 2018) Stop Child Predators (SCP) will join with survivors of abuse by Catholic clergy to urge lawmakers to pass legislation to help prevent further abuse and ensure that every single survivor can hold their abuser accountable in a court of law.

--- MEDIA WELCOME ---

Who: Stop Child Predators, a national children’s advocacy organization, and abuse survivors working to secure passage of legislation to implement the statewide grand jury’s recommendations.

What: A news conference to provide an opportunity for all survivors to share their experiences with the community and lawmakers.

When: Thursday, Oct. 11 at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Lehigh County Courthouse, 455 Hamilton St, Allentown, PA 18101. Area adjacent to the steps at the 6th Ave. entrance.

Why: “Survivors deserve to have their experiences heard by the perpetrators who abused them, and it is time for lawmakers to put survivors ahead of special interest groups and reach a consensus on meaningful, effective legislation. This will help survivors heal and to prevent future abuses,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap.

For more information, please visit www.stopchildpredators.org or contact Danielle Gross at 717.724.1681.

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SCP Media Advisory: "Clergy Abuse Survivors in Lancaster to Urge Lawmakers to Act to Help Prevent Further Abuse"

LANCASTER (Oct. 10, 2018) Stop Child Predators (SCP) will join with survivors of abuse by Catholic clergy to urge lawmakers to pass legislation to help prevent further abuse and ensure that every single survivor can hold their abuser accountable in a court of law.

--- MEDIA WELCOME ---

Who: Stop Child Predators, a national children’s advocacy organization, and abuse survivors working to secure passage of legislation to implement the statewide grand jury’s recommendations.

What: A news conference to provide an opportunity for all survivors to share their experiences with the community and lawmakers.

When: Thursday, Oct. 11 at 11:00 a.m.

Where: Binns Park, 120 North Queen Street, Lancaster PA 17603

Why: “We are confident that state lawmakers can get together and reach consensus on an effective solution – and that means enacting the reforms that the grand jury has called for,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap. “Survivors have every right to confront their abusers in a court of law.”

For more information, please visit www.stopchildpredators.org or contact Danielle Gross at 717.724.1681.

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SCP Media Advisory: "Clergy Abuse Survivors to Urge Lawmakers to Act to Help Prevent Further Abuse"

PITTSBURGH (Oct. 2, 2018) Stop Child Predators (SCP) will join with survivors of abuse by Catholic clergy to urge lawmakers to pass legislation to help prevent further abuse and ensure that every single survivor can hold their abuser accountable in a court of law.

--- MEDIA WELCOME ---

Who: Stop Child Predators, a national children’s advocacy organization, and abuse survivors working to secure passage of legislation to implement the statewide grand jury’s recommendations.

What: A news conference to provide an opportunity for all survivors to share their experiences with the community and lawmakers.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 2:30 p.m.

Where: The Grand Staircase at the Allegheny County Courthouse, 436 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

 Why: “Survivors deserve to have their experiences heard by the perpetrators who abused them. The time has come for lawmakers to put survivors ahead of the Insurance Federation and reach a consensus on meaningful, effective legislation that will help survivors heal and to prevent future abuses,” said SCP President Stacie Rumenap.

For more information, please visit www.stopchildpredators.org or contact Peter Shelly at 717.724.1681.

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September 24, 2018 | SCP Press Release: “Stop Child Predators Announces Engagement of Jim VanSickle as Pennsylvania Survivor Advocacy Coordinator"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 24, 2018

HARRISBURG (September 24, 2018) – Stop Child Predators (SCP) today announced that Jim VanSickle will join SCP as the organization’s first Survivor Advocacy Coordinator. The role will allow Jim to help other survivors of abuse by clergy to find the support they need and to come together to fight for legislation that will allow them to have their day in court and hold their abusers accountable.

“I have been contacted by so many survivors from around the state, the country and overseas who want to share their experiences and help to make sure that those responsible for their abuse are held accountable,” VanSickle said. “I didn’t ask to be in this fight, but I am not going to turn from it. I have been so inspired by the courage of so many men and women who have decided that they are not going to remain silent any longer.”

“It took me 40 years of anguish to arrive at this point but for me and survivors everywhere, there is no going back. We need to all join forces; support one another and demand that we are afforded our day in court. That starts with real, meaningful action by state lawmakers to enact the reforms called for by statewide grand jury, including changes to the statute of limitations,” Jim added.

SCP President Stacie Rumenap said that Jim’s courage and poise make him a strong advocate.

“We’ve been active in every state on a variety of critical issues from preventing further clergy abuse to enacting Megan’s Law and Jim really is a national role model,” Rumenap said. “We’re going to be heavily involved in Pennsylvania and we are very pleased to be working with Jim. We’re confident that if lawmakers focus on survivors and listen to them as they share their experiences, they’ll step up and enact effective measures that will empower survivors and help to prevent future abuse of children.”

SCP, a not-for-profit organization, has worked in all 50 states as an effective resource for policymakers in developing legislation that provides effective safeguards to prevent further abuse and to provide access to justice for those already victimized. SCP has also partnered with survivors and their families in Delaware and Wisconsin to push through legislation that restored their rights to pursue civil litigation against their abusers.

In addition to developing model legislation, SCP has helped build lasting coalitions for survivors, their families, and advocates. SCP worked in Pennsylvania on legislation regarding violence against children and on legislation to establish a sex offender registration that would survive a constitutional challenge.

Jim, 55, was abused as a teenager while attending a Catholic high school in Bradford, PA. He decided to come forward and share his experience earlier this year when his abuser was charged with abusing two other boys. Jim testified before the state grand jury that investigated decades of abuse by clergy and the cover-up of that abuse by the Catholic Church and has vowed to do everything he can to identify and work with victims so that the church is held accountable.

“I am very fortunate to be able to join forces with SCP. They’ve worked in all 50 states. They have a strong track record of success and they are deeply committed to protecting children,” Jim said.

For more information, please visit Stop Child Predators Facebook page at www.facebook.com/StopChildPred.

January 29, 2018 | SCP Issues Press Release Ahead of Super Bowl: “Parents should be on alert with ‘guest strangers’ in communities”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, January 29, 2018
Stacie Rumenap
President, Stop Child Predators
srumenap@stopchildpredators.org
(202) 248-7052

Child safety advocate raises concerns about Airbnb rentals for Super Bowl given reports of assault, prostitution, drug dealing and violence associated with home-sharing site

Stop Child Predators: “Parents should be on alert with ‘guest strangers’ in communities”

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – National child safety advocacy group, Stop Child Predators, raised concern today with the expected increased usage of Airbnb, HomeAway and other short-term rentals during the Super Bowl warning parents in the Greater Minneapolis area to take extra precaution to keep their children safe. 

“With thousands expected to rent out homes to visiting Super Bowl fans, complete strangers will be infiltrating homes in neighborhoods across the city,” Stacie Rumenap, President of Stop Child Predators.  “Parents should be on heightened alert for out-of-town visitors in their neighborhoods during the week leading up to the big game and speak with their kids about what to do if approached by a stranger.”  

According to a [Minneapolis] Star-Tribune article last fall, an Airbnb guest staying at a rental in Minnetonka, Minnesota, was charged with an attempted sexual assault of a seven-year-old living in the house the family rented.  

Over the last year, there have been numerous stories in cities across the country of Airbnb rentals being used for prostitutiondrug trafficking and out-of-control parties, which have led to violence and even shootings in residential neighborhoods.  

Rumenap said her group, Stop Child Predators, has started raising awareness of the potential negative impacts of short-term rentals.  She said the new trend of commercial Airbnb hosts buying up residential homes and apartments to rent out as ‘illegal hotels’ has raised concerned with local community leaders across the country as neighborhoods cope with a weekly turnover of transients and strangers coming and going from their communities.  

“Tools like sex offender lists are becoming obsolete as there is no safeguard in place to stop a child predator from renting an Airbnb property next door,” stated Rumenap.   “Airbnb certainly does not condone such bad behaviors through their site, but they also have not done nearly enough to combat the unacceptable actions of its operators and guests.” 

According to a report by U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking, major events like the Super Bowl generate an “increase in tourists seeking entertainment, including commercial sex, increasing the potential risk for exploitation and human trafficking.  Traffickers are opportunistic hunters, and they see major sporting events and the hundreds of thousands of people who flock to sports venues as an opportunity for huge profits with very little risk of penalty or punishment.”

Stop Child Predators encourages neighbors of Airbnb rentals during Super Bowl Week to be on alert and call authorities if they suspect a criminal activity such as prostitution, human trafficking, public drunkenness, illegal drug usage or the endangerment of a minor is occurring in a rental unit in their community.   

January 22, 2018 | Stop Child Predators Joins #NeighborsFirst Coalition

This week Stop Child Predators joined the #NeighborsFirst Coalition at an event at the National Press Club to urge the D.C. Council to pass the Short-Term Rental and Affordable Housing Act. The legislation would, SCP argues, provide crucial protections for children from sexual predators. 

SCP President Stacie Rumenap spoke at the event and issued the statement below: 

       Hello, my name is Stacie Rumenap and I’m the President of Stop Child Predators, a nonprofit organization that combats the sexual exploitation of children and represents and protects victims nationwide. I’m here to speak today on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves, the most innocent and precious among us—our children.

      Government officials, community leaders, and parents—myself included—have a duty to protect our children. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. The United States Justice Department reports that “persons under 18 years of age account for 67 percent of all sexual assault victimizations reported to law enforcement agencies.” Sixty-seven percent.

       This is heart-breaking and unacceptable.

       Challenges to raising children aren’t new. Every generation of parents have faced them. But the latest challenge is certainly different than most parents could have prepared for, and that’s the influx of Airbnb short-term rentals in neighborhoods. 

      This influx is causing a revolving door of strangers coming and going from these properties. Neighborhood safety tools like sex offender lists are becoming obsolete as there’s no safeguard in place to stop a child predator from renting an Airbnb property next door. 

      According to a [Minneapolis] Star-Tribune article last fall, an Airbnb guest staying at a rental in Minnetonka, Minnesota, was charged with an attempted sexual assault of a seven-year-old living in the house the family rented.  

     Over the last year, there have been numerous stories in cities across the country of short-term rentals being used for prostitution, drug trafficking, and out-of-control parties, which have led to violence and shootings in residential neighborhoods.

    DC councilmembers have been considering—since last January—the Short-Term Rental and Affordable Housing Act, a piece of legislation that could have an enormous impact on protecting our children and neighborhoods.  

     Today, we’re calling on the DC City Council to enact this legislation before our city experiences the same types of incidents other cities have experienced. The D.C. City Council should stop delaying and put this legislation on the agenda and pass protections for families and children from the increasing dangers of illegal hotels operating in our residential neighborhoods. 

                          SCP President Stacie Rumenap at #NeighborsFirst press conference in Washington, DC 

                         SCP President Stacie Rumenap at #NeighborsFirst press conference in Washington, DC 

Archive: November 3, 2017 | SCP Letter to Canadian Parliament on Illicit Trade

For letter .png

November 3, 2017

The Honorable William D. “Bill” Casey

House of Commons
Room 552-D Centre Block
Ottawa, ON
Canada
K1A 0A6

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I write on behalf of Stop Child Predators (SCP), a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, to express our concerns over the unintended consequences of plain packaging of tobacco products that will certainly exist if Senate Bill 5—a bill that seeks to amend the Tobacco Act and the Non-Smokers’ Health Act—passes as currently drafted. While we do not oppose all tobacco control, we do oppose tobacco control that may lead to increased criminality and fails to achieve the desired objective. 

SCP supports a variety of measures that combat the sexual exploitation of children—many of which have been enacted in Canada—including enacting long prison sentences for convicted adult sex offenders and sex traffickers, fighting the proliferation of child pornography, passing tougher penalties for enticement and luring crimes, and embracing common-sense approaches to prosecuting cyberbullying and sexting, among other community safety issues. 

It is not surprising that organized criminal gangs sell cigarettes to minors. Nor is it surprising that these same gangs use children to sell and transport illegal cigarettes. Mostly because children will not be arrested if they are caught.

What is surprising and very alarming, however, is that law enforcement often finds that illicit cigarette trading funds more serious forms of crime, including trafficking and exploitation of children. And unlike cigarettes or drugs, people can be traded over and over again.

The illicit trading of tobacco is the world’s most widely smuggled legal substance and is a multibillion-dollar business that stretches from counterfeiters in China and Russia to Indian reservations in New York and warlords in Pakistan and North Africa.

According to a Forbes report, Canada is considered a primary source for contraband cigarettes being smuggled worldwide. Coming in close behind is human trafficking and illicit migration, which according to the United Nations is one of the fastest growing criminal activities worldwide.

In the United States, an estimated one out of six endangered child runaways reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were likely victims of sex trafficking. Worldwide, children are bought and sold for sex every single day. It is estimated that the industry brings in over $100 billion annually. It thrives because there is a serious demand for commercial sex with minors. There are 20.9 million victims of human trafficking globally, with 26% of them being children, according to the International Labour Organization.

Dr. Louise Shelley, Director of the Terrorism, Transnational Crime, and Corruption Center at George Mason University, is an expert in illicit trade. This past summer, Dr. Shelley testified before the U.S. Senate Commission on Security & Cooperation in Europe in which she linked illicit cigarette trade to other crimes. “What [these crimes show us] is that there is a convergence of different crimes, and also that the cigarette trade often serves as what I call venture capital for other forms of serious crime, so that the money that you get from this petty trade that you can start with leads you to even higher revenue streams that can have very corrosive impact.”

Other evidence suggests that drug cartels—who also smuggle cigarettes—engage in kidnapping for ransom, extortion, human trafficking and other crimes to augment their incomes, according to a report by the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

During a hearing on the threat posed by the convergence of organized crime, drug trafficking, and terrorism before the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives,  investigators in Europe found that money gangs make from illegal cigarettes finances drugs, guns, and human trafficking. In one operation, law enforcement across Europe confiscated 1.5 million illegal cigarettes along with 600 kilograms of cocaine, 200 kilograms of heroin and 30 children who were being trafficked for the sex trade.

Canadian officials have also warned about profits obtained through illicit trade. According to Public Safety Canada, “The cycle of production, distribution, sale and end-user of contraband tobacco is a crime driven by greed and an opportunity for criminal enterprises to expand their reach. As such, criminals have become well networked and are involved in all aspects of the contraband tobacco cycle.”

As you are aware, human trafficking relates to a number of industries in Canada, including construction, farm labor, sex trade, service sector, and even child care, according to law enforcement agencies. The rise of human trafficking in Canada prompted the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association and Public Safety Canada to launch a program in 2010 to solicit tips to combat the problem across the country. Seven years later, the problem continues to grow.

We appreciate your efforts to standardize cigarette packaging, but are concerned that if S.B. 5 is implemented, you unwittingly help fund the black market for cigarettes which too often leads to the financing of narcoticshuman trafficking, and terrorism.

It would be a pleasure to appear before your committee to discuss this matter further. Feel free to contact me if I may answer any questions regarding this issue or any other child safety matter at (202) 248-7052 or srumenap@stopchildpredators.org.

Sincerely,

Stacie D. Rumenap

President, Stop Child Predators 

Archive: June 22, 2017 | Joint response to U.S. Supreme Court's Ruling in Packingham v. North Carolina

A joint response from Stop Child Predators and Shared Hope, co-amici in supporting the North Carolina statute in Packingham v. North Carolina:

“North Carolina attempted to protect children from online sex abuse and predation by placing certain social-media restrictions on a class of persons who pose a heightened risk of committing sex crimes - registered sex offenders.  Although Facebook and other social-media sites could do a lot more to police their own traffic, nothing those sites do could have the kind of deterrent effect that a state statute, carrying the threat of prison time or a fine, will have.  The decision in the Packingham case is unfortunate but it’s important to note that the Court’s reasoning was not unanimous. Justice Alito’s concurring opinion, which was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Thomas, presented a forceful defense of the compelling interest that states have in protecting children from recidivist sex offenders online. The state statute was ultimately viewed as too broad but the Court was clear that a narrower statute could yield a different result.  As organizations committed to strengthening state laws protecting children from sexual abuse and sex trafficking, Shared Hope and Stop Child Predators will continue to explore ways children can be protected online that are consistent with First Amendment rights. We have seen the crime of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking, and the offenders, moving in large numbers to the internet. We must do what we can to protect our children in that space, as we do in our physical spaces.”