NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island House has approved legislation that increases penalties for the sex trafficking of a minor.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Doreen Costa hikes the maximum number of years in prison for anyone found guilty of the felony to 50 years, from 40 years.

The legislation increases the penalties for anyone found guilty of obstructing or interfering with the enforcement of sex trafficking laws to 35 years, from 20 years. It also doubles the maximum fine, to $40,000.

The bill is being sent to the Senate.

Costa, a North Kingstown Republican, says strengthening the penalties is a way of standing up for the victims of sex trafficking.