Another silly law based on religion.
I think the current laws on prostitution give a person extra time in prison if they knowingly have sex with a prostitute under 18 years old. And the government has to prove you knew the person was under 18.
I think this new law says that if you have sex with a prostitute who is under 18 years old you are assumed to have know the prostitute was under 18 and thus automatically receive the extra prison time, unless you can prove other wise.
These silly laws belong in a religious theocracy, not a democratic government.
Gov. Brewer signs bill to curb human trafficking
Megan Cassidy, The Republic | azcentral.com 10:04 p.m. MST April 22, 2014
Gov. Jan Brewer signed legislation on Tuesday that adds sentencing muscle to existing child-prostitution laws, as well as a wide range of provisions aimed to put Arizona at the forefront of a nationwide fight against human trafficking.
Brewer has made the issue a priority of her administration and frequently likens human trafficking to modern-day slavery.
"This is a proud and significant day for Arizona, particularly for those who have been personally affected by the horrendous crime of human trafficking," Brewer said against a backdrop of attorneys, lawmakers and advocates Tuesday afternoon at the Arizona Capitol.
Among its various elements, the law will close a loophole for johns accused of engaging in prostitution with a minor, making defendants culpable if they "should have known" that a 15- 16- or 17-year-old was underage.
Prosecutors previously had to prove that a suspect knowingly engaged in prostitution with a minor if they knew he or she was older than 14.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said this piece of the legislation is an answer to a popular defense mechanism.
Several men arrested in a December Tempe
teen-prostitution sting operation were
recently offered plea agreements that
would shrink their potential sentences
from several years behind bars to months or weeks.
One defense attorney noted that defendants
were initially under the impression that
the decoys were of age, and were only later made aware that they were underage.
Montgomery said the recent plea bargains were an indication that the laws needed to be strengthened against a defendant's claim of ignorance.
"We're able to use more circumstantial evidence," Montgomery said of the provision. "In some cases, that's what puts us in a position as prosecutors to have to come up with a plea resolution where we can't stick with the original charge."
Recommendations made by Brewer's human-trafficking task force, which she established in April 2013, helped shape the bill.
In a separate provision, the bill adds an "affirmative defense" against prostitution charges for sex-trafficking victims, and allows a victim's identification and location to be private in court proceedings.
Cindy McCain, who co-chaired the governor's task force, said these victim protections indicate a shift in law-enforcement attitudes toward sex workers and child prostitution.
"You have to remember, we're dealing with children," she said. "They are not prostitutes. ... They are victims, and they are survivors."
The legislation additionally increases sentencing penalties for traffickers, and requires licensed escorts, escort businesses, massage therapists and the like to include their license number in advertisements for services and to keep on file proof of age for people depicted in advertisements.
Brewer said she hopes the law serves as a warning against potential perpetrators.
"There is much more work to be done in our fight to eliminate this atrocious modern-day slavery, but in signing this legislation and implementing critical measures, we take another good step forward in the right direction," she said.