R.I. House approves bill to ban indoor prostitution

By Randal Edgar
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Rhode Island House approved Wednesday a bill that would ban prostitution that occurs indoors, a practice that currently is legal.

The vote was 62 to 8.

The bill (H 5044 Sub A), which was amended on the floor, is supported by law enforcement agencies who said it would help them address human trafficking.

It now heads to the Senate.

Under current state law, only streetwalkers, their pimps and their customers can be charged.

With the exception of several counties in Nevada, Rhode Island is the only state in the country that currently allows prostitution that occurs indoors.

This is the fourth consecutive year that state Rep. Joanne M. Giannini, D-Providence, introduced a bill to prohibit indoor prostitution, but the first year that the proposed legislation gained enough support to be voted out of committee.

Link to original on Newsblog

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