Thursday, June 19, 2008

Prostitution bill signed into law

By Rep. Karl Rhoads

Governor Lingle yesterday signed a bill into law that creates a new offense of "habitual solicitation of prostitution." It will now be a misdemeanor if the person pays, agrees to pay, or offers to pay a fee to another person to engage in sexual conduct, and has two or more specified prior offenses related to prostitution within ten years of the instant offense. The new law, House Bill 3002/Act 192, went into effect upon approval yesterday, and it sunsets in 2010.

I am very happy that the Governor signed my anti-prostitution bill, HB 3002, into law. Prostitution has been a plague on the Downtown and Chinatown area for years. The drug use and violence that goes along with prostitution has endangered all area residents.

During the 2008 legislative session, the bill was referred to as the "Eliot Spitzer" bill, alluding to the case of New York's former governor who resigned in March 2008 after he was linked as a client to a prostitution ring under investigation by the federal government.

As a 12-year Chinatown resident, I see first hand the negative impact of prostitution upon the community. The legislation, while not a panacea, will reduce prostitution. It will also make those who prey on the most vulnerable of society think twice about what they are doing.

HB 3002 will raise the stakes for those who habitually go to prostitutes. For the prostitutes themselves, the law remains the same. For their customers, the penalty for a third and subsequent conviction will be 12 times greater than it is now.


Anonymous said...

Way to go, Karl. I am proud of you

Aloha, M Lee

Anonymous said...

Because you have a drug problem you want to blame prostitution ?
Later when rapes are on the rise, what will you blame that on?
Even prostitutes have gotton raped and killed because you have laws against sex for money. The state only protects those who are raped and not considered a Prostitute. What do you call sex for dinner and clean clothes? Marrage! again that is controling everyones personal lives. Is this a Police state?
Why do you pit people against people?