Accused Human Trafficker Arrested In Lafayette Home + La. Gov. Jindal Signs Anti-Human Trafficking Bills
37-year-old Katherine Vidrine of Lafayette is now behind bars after Louisiana State Police say she allegedly used a child under the age of 12 to engage in sexual acts for money. She was arrested at her home in Lafayette.
Detectives say the alleged sexual acts happened about 4 years ago at locations throughout Lafayette parish. Detectives say they learned that Vidrine was present during some of the sexual acts.
Vidrine has been booked into the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center for trafficking of children for sexual purposes and principle to molestation of a juvenile. She faces up to 50 years in prison and could be fined up to $75,000.00 if convicted of this crime.
Police continue to investigate and additional arrests are anticipated.
“As a father this case is truly disturbing to me,” said Colonel Mike Edmonson, State Police Superintendent. “A child’s innocence is something that is very precious. To think that someone robbed this child of that is incomprehensible. I can assure you that we will continue working with all of our law enforcement partners to relentlessly pursue those people who intend to victimize children. We will also continue our work with Governor Jindal, and our lawmakers, to ensure Louisiana is a safe place to raise a family.”
If you or someone you know has been the victim of child sexual acts you are urged to call State Police at 337-262-3341 or your local law enforcement agency.
Meanwhile, two anti-human trafficking bills have been signed into law by La. Gov. Bobby Jindal. One of them, by Representative Valerie Hodges, strengthens enforcement of current law that requires certain establishments to post the National Human Trafficking Hotline number and adds penalties for failing to do so. In addition, this bill adds penalties for the failure to post the hotline number and allocates the authority to promulgate rules regarding posting specifics to the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC). The other bill, by Senator Sharon Broome, seeks to protects victims of human trafficking by creating a civil cause of action for victims, making victim restitution mandatory and establishing victim assistance guidelines for law enforcement, District Attorneys and the Attorney General's Office.
“We must always do everything in our power to help protect our most vulnerable and those who cannot protect themselves," says Gov. Jindal. "Human trafficking is a horrendous crime that often targets children, and these bills will go a long way toward combating individuals who are exploiting others by taking advantage of their innocence.”