Home » Manhattan DA Vance wins dismissal of 6,000 prostitution, unlicensed massage, and loitering cases in line with New York’s repeal of ‘Walking While Trans’ law

Manhattan DA Vance wins dismissal of 6,000 prostitution, unlicensed massage, and loitering cases in line with New York’s repeal of ‘Walking While Trans’ law

At the request of Manhattan DA Cy Vance — and in line with new state law — a judge on Wednesday tossed thousands of prostitution, unlicensed massage and loitering cases, many dating to the 1970s.

Vance’s move follows the repeal of New York’s “Walking While Trans” law, signed by Gov. Cuomo in February. The new law requires past convictions for loitering to be sealed.

“Although my office has not prosecuted this crime since 2016, we have identified 5,080 cases where the top charge is loitering for the purpose of prostitution and there is an open bench warrant,” Vance said of the loitering law at a virtual court hearing.

“My office recognizes that the vulnerabilities imposed by warrants relating to loitering for purposes of prostitution apply equally to many of the people who are charged with prostitution and unlicensed massage.”

Advocates long complained that police used the loitering law as a pretext to harass and target transgender people.

Patronizing sex workers and trafficking people for sex will still be criminally prosecuted.

Vance also Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Charlotte Davidson to dismiss 878 cases where there is a pending bench warrant and an additional 36 cases in which people are charged with attempted unauthorized practice of a profession, in the context of offering unlicensed massages.

“Many of these warrants were issued at a time when we did not recognize the circumstances that the individuals were facing. In many of these matters, vulnerable people have faced significant collateral consequences and live, even now, under the threat of being detained based on pending bench warrants.”

Vance said his office has undergone “a paradigm shift” in its understanding of the issues through working with the Legal Aid Society’s exploitation intervention project — which joined Vance’s request — and survivors of sex trafficking.

Davidson granted the request and lauded Vance for his decision. She gave the court 90 days to update the its database and communicate the vacating of the warrants to the NYPD.

“As a judge myself in Manhattan’s trafficking court for several years under Chief Judge DiFiore, I commend District Attorney Vance for his humanity in making this motion,” Davidson said.

“The motion is granted in its entirety. All warrants, pleas, sentences and convictions are vacated and the cases are dismissed and sealed.”

Source (Ny Daily news)

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