CARSON CITY — An Assembly committee was asked Tuesday to endorse a broadly written bill that would make anyone who induces a minor to become a prostitute subject to felony charges and possible lifetime supervision as a sex offender.
Assemblyman William Horne, chairman of the Assembly Corrections, Parole and Probation Committee, asked the panel to approve his Assembly Bill 238. The Las Vegas Democrat added that Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, is dropping a similar proposal and will sign onto AB238 as a co-sponsor.
Both lawmakers said the bill is needed to stop what Hambrick termed a societal "scourge" that must be eradicated, and they were backed by police representatives who said officers are seeing children as young as 11 working as prostitutes.
Las Vegas Metro Police Lt. Karen Hughes told the committee that in 2008 the vice detail she oversees dealt with about 150 young prostitutes who were being exploited by pimps.
Rebecca Gasca of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada questioned the measure, saying it "just opens up a Pandora’s box" because it’s so sweeping and would be added to a section of Nevada law dealing with pandering that’s already overly broad.
The bill expands the list of sex crimes that can result in lifetime supervision to include inducing a minor "to become a prostitute through threats or other actions," or even furnishing transportation to induce a minor to turn to prostitution.
Another section targets pimps by imposing lifetime supervision on anyone convicted of living off the earnings of a prostitute who’s under age 18.