The human trafficking bill that Governor Eliot Spitzer signed into law in 2007 must have been the last thing going through his mind inside of room 871 in Washington D.C.’s Mayflower Hotel on Valentine’s Day Eve.
The legislation not only cracks down on sex traffickers, but it also stiffens the penalties for johns. When he signed it into law in 2007, Spitzer offered some harsh words for those involved in the prostitution trade.
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery and among the most repugnant crimes,” Spitzer said. “Today we have given law enforcement the ability to adequately prosecute perpetrators, and have provided meaningful assistance for the unfortunate victims of these egregious crimes. Today’s signing also demonstrates what we can accomplish in Albany when we work together for the public good.”
Could “Client 9” be steamrolled by his own legislation?
“If there were any state charges it would certainly appear that if he did what was alleged that the law we passed last year would impact him, in the sense that one of the provisions of the law was that we raised the penalty for patronizing a prostitute,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, a Bronx Democrat, who authored the legislation.
“There are other provisions in my bill, I’m not sure they would necessarily apply to him, dealing with the issue of what’s called sex tourism. I don’t think it would, but we haven’t really gotten all the details of what’s going on,” he added.
The very talk of possible, if improbable, state charges made Dinowitz uncomfortable.
“I’m always very reluctant to talk in the theoretical, hypothetical I guess, because all we are seeing are TV reports,” he said.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 11, 2008