Sarah McKenzie

New state law stiffens penalties for soliciting a juvenile for prostitution

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A new law going into effect Aug. 1 makes it a felony to solicit anyone “reasonably” believed to be under the age of 18 for prostitution.

City leaders advocated for the law as another tool to fight juvenile sex trafficking, said City Attorney Susan Segal.

The law carries a penalty of a sentence up to five years and a fine up to $10,000, she said. Previously, offenders would be charged with a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor if they solicited a 16 or 17 year olds for sex, which carried a maximum sentence of 90 days or one year in jail, respectively.

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