Proposed sex trafficking reform: Protect prostitutes, prosecute pimps

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EUGENE, Ore. - Reforming prostitution laws to provide a safe haven to the women and children caught selling sex on the streets while prosecutors pursue charges against pimps would help combat human sex trafficking in Oregon, key state and federal officials said Tuesday.

Under the current system, prostitutes often avoid law enforcement to avoid being charged with a crime. That makes it hard to prosecute the pimps exploting women and children as prostitutes.

That was the upshot of a presentation by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall and others at a Zonta luncheon Tuesday.

Changing the law to provide shelter and treatment for prostitutes could aid the prosecution of pimps, they said.