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Prosecutor aiming to stop demand for sex trafficking by charging johns

Sex trafficking is only a profitable business so long as there is demand, and one prosecutor is trying to shut down the demand. A Manhattan district attorney is not only charging sex traffickers, but also has arrested the johns.

To end sex trafficking, the prosecutor is going after those supplying and demanding the service. Eight men have been charged in the trafficking of the women, or supplying. So far, 14 men have been charged with patronizing a prostitute, or demanding. While the law does punish johns, relatively few have found themselves facing charges.

Two of the johns have pled guilty, while the other cases are ongoing. Those who pled guilty to the charge as a first offense may be able to walk away with a fine, community service, a class and a disorderly conduct charge. They could have their records expunged after two crime-free years.

The sex trafficking ring that led to these arrests was led by a father and son from Pennsylvania. The charges have been filed in the New York Supreme Court. In additional to the pimps and the johns, taxi drivers who found customers were also charged.

The women in this ring were tattooed with the names of the pimps and one woman had a bar code tattooed on her. According to the prosecutor, these women were victims of coercion.

In other countries, including Sweden, the laws focus on punishing those who buy sex, rather than those who sell. The punishment for johns is much more severe in Sweden and could include income-based fines and jail time.

Source: Huffington Post, A Prosecutor Sets His Sights On the Johns, by Kevin M. Ryan, May 2, 2012

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