Legislative Document (LD) 1435, called An Act to
Reduce Commercial Sexual Exploitation, amends existing law to remove all
references to prostitution. Instead, the new law criminalizes commercial sexual
exploitation, which is a Class E crime carrying a maximum penalty of $1,000
and/or 180 days in jail. The new law goes on to define commercial sexual
exploitation as “providing, agreeing to provide or offering to provide a
pecuniary (monetary) benefit to another person to engage in a sexual act or
sexual contact.” This language limits the criminalization to those who are
buying the services—not those selling.
Further criminalized in the new law is commercial
sexual exploitation of a minor and a person with a mental disability, which
classifies these as Class C crimes carrying penalties of a fine of $5,000
and/or five years in prison.
The new law also mandates the Department of Public
Safety consult with anti-trafficking and domestic violence organizations to
develop an anti-sex-trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation protocol by
March 1, 2024.
In 2021, Mills vetoed a similar bill that aimed to
address Maine’s human trafficking problem over fears that the earlier version
of the bill (LD 1592) would decriminalize prostitution wholly and “encourage the exploitation of young people.”
Currently, Nevada is
the only state that allows limited legal prostitution in the US.
To read more CLICK HERE