NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 20, 2013

Our view: Pitiful enforcement of 'sex trade' law

(Continued)

NECIR cited the case of six men arrested for seeking sex with minors in a police sting in downtown Boston last October.

Now, remember the penalty for seeking out minors for sex-for-pay is up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. And forget about getting the case continued without a finding.

But, according to NECIR, at least four of the six alleged “johns” have had their charges reduced, dismissed or continued without a finding.

The stiffest penalty assessed against any of the six was $65 in court fees plus a requirement to watch a video on the corrosive effects of the sex trade.

The case is not an isolated one. When NECIR surveyed the state’s 11 district attorney’s offices, not one could cite a single sex buyer who had been fined the supposed “minimum” of $1,000 fine, much less sent to jail, since the law became effective.

In Lawrence, a Salem, N.H., woman charged with running a brothel in a downtown spa allegedly kept a list of 2,000 sex clients. None has been named or charged. That may become an issue when the “madam” goes to trial.

Sen. Montigny, who wrote the bill said he was “chagrined” to hear that sex buyers — especially those seeking minors — were getting off so easily.

“I’m saying to DAs and cops and judges, when a minor gets involved, it is rape,’ he said. “If they thought they were engaging in sex with a minor, severe penalties must be applied.”

Apparently, law enforcement officials have not gotten the message.

A spokesman for the Suffolk County DA said many sex buyers have been shown leniency because they were first-offenders. But he promised the DA will now be more aggressive in pushing for fines.

“The 2012 law has given us a new tool to drive demand down even further and we intend use it,” the spokesman said.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans