Hawaii law on prostitution convictions to be a 1st in nation

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii is poised to become the first state in the U.S. to remove a requirement that a person be a victim of sex trafficking to have a prostitution conviction erased.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige is expected to sign the legislation Tuesday.

The new law will toss prostitution convictions for those who avoid additional convictions for three years, even if they can’t prove they have been victims of sex trafficking.

Victim advocates say most trafficking victims aren’t able to reveal or prove they’re victims because they fear their pimp or sex buyer will retaliate. They may depend on their pimp or trafficker for their livelihood.

Advocates say trafficking is a big problem in Hawaii because of the large tourism industry and military population.

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