First suspected prostitutes appear in Syracuse’s new human trafficking court

Nov 6, 2013
Crime
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Syracuse, NY — Two women accused of being Syracuse prostitutes appeared this afternoon in the city’s new human trafficking court. The court — one of only 11 in the state and the third Upstate — will hear all prostitution cases in the city of Syracuse.

Pate

The goal is to provide services for the prostitutes to get them back on their feet and to determine if they were coerced into working by a pimp under the new sex trafficking law.

It’s part of a new strategy that treats prostitutes as victims and pimps as sex traffickers. The state Attorney General recently charged a Syracuse man with sex trafficking in the alleged coercion of a 15-year-old prostitute.

In today’s court, one of the women met with a court-appointed social worker after appearing before City Court Judge Theodore Limpert. Her case was adjourned for two weeks so she could return with her lawyer and meet further with the social worker.

The other woman told the judge she planned to move to Delaware. She declined the help, pleaded guilty to loitering, a violation, and was ordered to pay a fine.

Limpert believes that many of the prostitutes are being forced to work by pimps. First Chief Assistant District Attorney Rick Trunfio said, in his experience, many of the women are working in exchange for drugs or money to buy drugs.

The new court is part of an effort by Jonathan Lippman, the chief judge of the state Court of Appeals, to look at prostitution as the result of possible sex trafficking. It wasn’t clear in court this afternoon if either of the women were forced into working.

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Michael Whiteacre
Michael Whiteacre
6 years ago

Another mind-bogglingly stupid, judgmental and infantilizing approach to sex work, and sex workers. “It wasn’t clear in court this afternoon if either of the women were forced into working.” No, but the DA will assume they are. The human trafficking court will hear all prostitution cases in the city of Syracuse — anyone want to take bets on whether sex workers facing charges will be encouraged to testify that they were victims, and to rat out people they know (including fellow sex workers) as “pimps” and “traffickers”? “First Chief Assistant District Attorney Rick Trunfio said, in his experience, many of… Read more »

Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
6 years ago

And as usual, “helping” sex workers always starts with arresting them, creating a permanent record that will further impede any attempts they might make to transition out of the life.

No one is ever helped by being busted. That’s the big lie behind most “anti-trafficking” campaigns. They always say “it’s for their own good” but in reality it’s for the purpose of pushing a certain narrow political agenda at the expense of sex workers.

Nauseating is too mild a word for this whole deal.

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