Saturday, May 3, 2003

Eyewitness News

Houston's anti-prostitution plan questioned by ACLU

HOUSTON — The American Civil Liberties Union is blasting the City of Houston's proposed plan to fight prostitution, saying it goes too far.

Houston police battling prostitution are currently restricted to making arrests for such misdemeanors as loitering, hitchhiking, and jay walking.

Proposed changes, modeled after Dallas' ordinance, would allow police to target known prostitutes believed to be soliciting business. Civil libertarians say that's unconstitutional.

"The crime is prostitution. It's sex for money. Walking down the street, talking to someone, waving to someone, those aren't crimes," said ACLU Regional Director, Annette Lamoreaux. "You cannot base one offense on the fact that you've been convicted of another offense."

The new law would also target customers, with fines up to $2,000 and significant jail time.

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Created: May 9, 2003
Last modified: May 9, 2003
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