Washington State Legislature
4:13 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Bills would increase Washington fines for prostitution

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that target Johns who solicit prostitutes. Proposals to increase state fines for prostitution and human trafficking had a hearing Tuesday in Olympia.

Supporters say some Washington speeding tickets cost more than the current fine for buying sex.

One person testifying in support of the bill was a mother of a girl who was involved in child prostitution. She asked that we call her “Lynn,” to protect her daughter’s identity. Lynn’s daughter was 15 when she ran away from home.

“Within 36 hours, she was being sold on a website called backpage.com. My daughter at one point reported that she was making between $3,000 and $6,000 a month," Lynn said. If they can afford to pay for sex, they can afford to pay their fine.”

Lynn’s daughter is now back with her family and receiving counseling.

The bills in the Washington legislature would increase the penalties for soliciting prostitution from $150 to $3,000 . And for the pimps who promote prostitution, the fine would be $5,000 instead of $300 .

The money raised would fund prostitution rehabilitation programs and police efforts to investigate prostitution.

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