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CAVEAT HOBBYISTS-LE in NYC is targeting clients instead of prostitutes-NY Times article FYI

Posted 5/3/2012 at 7:47:11 PM

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The following is an excerpt of a comprehensive article appearing(with names deleted in accordance with TER rules and guidelines) appearing in the NY Times of May 3, 2012 on page A27, col. 5 and page A29, cols. 1 through 5 written by Russ Buettner:

Prosecutors Focus on Pimps and Clients, Instead of Prostitutes Clients face up to one year in jail under the new law, up from 90 days.

In a stark departure from decades of such prosecutions, the women who were working as prostitutes are not facing criminal charges but are instead being treated as their pimps’ victims, and offered services to help them build new lives. Under the old charges, pimps typically faced up to 15 years in prison for promoting prostitution with an adult. The newer sex trafficking charge carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. Also under the new law, the customers who pay adult prostitutes for sex face up to one year in jail, up from 90 days.

On Monday, 14 men, including a physician, an owner of an online ticket sales company and a concierge for a film-production company, were arraigned on charges of patronizing a prostitute. Most were offered a chance to plead.

The Manhattan district attorney said his office had embraced the new approach, long advocated by those who see brutal oppression of women as the defining component of the commercial sex trade. “They basically live as slaves of the pimps,” he said. “These are sad cases. These are women who need help.” A federal law that went into effect in 2000 cracked down on sex trafficking. But in general, someone must be moved across state borders for the purpose of prostitution before federal prosecutors have jurisdiction.  “ Statewide, there have been 150 arrests on the new sex trafficking charge since the law took effect on Nov. 1, 2007, according to the State Division of Criminal Justice Services; all but 13 were in New York City. Seventy of the 150 cases remain open. Of the 80 that have been completed, there have been 13 convictions on the sex trafficking charge; other outcomes include 33 convictions on charges other than sex trafficking, and the dismissal of charges against 21 defendants.

The New York City Police Commissioner has also begun to shift his department’s enforcement efforts from prostitutes to their customers in a crackdown called Operation Losing Proposition. The effects of the changes can be seen in arrest numbers in Manhattan. Arrests for prostitution fell by about a quarter from 2010 to 2011, while arrests of their customers jumped by about a third. And in the first three months of this year, there were 90 arrests in Manhattan on charges of patronizing a prostitute, nearly the total of 107 in all of 2011.

Below the following picture appearing with the article,it states "Men accused of soliciting prostitutes were taken to be arraigned in Manhattan on Monday. A law has increased penalties for convicted clients: one year in jail instead of 90 days.

-- Modified on 5/3/2012 11:49:35 PM


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