January 10, 2013

Prostitution bill unveiled at Las Vegas sex trafficking summit

1-9-2013 Arizona:

The signs that her youngest daughter was a prostitute couldn't have been more obvious, although she didn't make the connection at the time.

There was the seductive way she dressed, the casual talk of sex during dinner, the way she called her boyfriend "Daddy" and he called her "Wifey."

Then one day a big tattoo showed up on the back of her shoulders and neck.

But the kicker - the thing that the mother kicks herself over - was the blisters and deep callouses on her daughter's feet: the result of having walked the Strip in high heels for days on end.

When Andrea Swanson finally confronted her in her bedroom two years ago - she told an audience of more than 200 people at a sex trafficking summit at UNLV on Wednesday - she first acted like "a caged animal."

Then she copped to it.

"What the f---!" Swanson said she screamed. "OK. I'm a 'trick roll' girl, I find the drunkest mother ... on the Strip, I go back to his hotel room, I tell him to clean his ass up, then I steal his money and run."

Swanson's riveting story of her daughter, a Centennial High School graduate, was the beginning to the six-hour summit that was convened by Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto in hopes of starting a dialogue to put an end to what is considered not just a local problem, but a global one.


More than 200 people, ranging from police to nonprofit organizations to churches to Nevada legislators, turned out to watch heart-wrenching videos of young girls who have been victimized in far away places like Wichita, Kan., while hearing the principal tenets of a sex trafficking bill that Cortez Masto plans to introduce in the Legislature next month.

Assembly Bill 67 would toughen penalties for pimps, who, upon conviction, could serve a maximum of 20 years in prison for their deeds. The maximum now is four years.

The bill also would allow the women to sue their pimps while changing the name of the crime itself: Pimping now is referred to as "pandering," something many people don't even understand, said Chief Deputy Attorney General Michon Martin.

Instead, the crime would be called "sex trafficking," which occurs when there is some sort of fraud, force or coercion, something that's happening all too often in Las ...continued... by Tom Ragan

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