Casper City Council Begins Revising Prostitution Ordinance
The Casper Police Department and the Natrona County Sheriff's Office have seen some cases of prostitution that involve human trafficking, and the Casper City Council is revising an ordinance to deal with that crime and those who solicit prostitutes.
"The primary thing those changes would accomplish is having a clearer shot, if you will, at not only dealing with those who are committing the act of prostitution, but those that would actually solicit and purchase those acts as well," City Manager Carter Napier said after the council meeting on Tuesday.
The council, with little discussion, passed on first reading the changes to the municipal ordinance about "offenses against human decency." No one from the public commented on it.
According to a memo to Napier from City Attorney John Henley, the victims of human trafficking are often vulnerable females to come to the United States from other countries based on promises of a job and citizenship.
"Other victims come from the ranks of [the] nation's youth, who having run away and are living in desperate conditions on the street, are 'recruited' with the promise [of] safety and employment," Henley wrote.
"However, instead of legal employment, these individuals are frequently trapped into a system where they are used as a commodity in the sex trade," he wrote.
After the meeting, Napier said the changes to the ordinance also defines certain sex acts and targets businesses that permit prostitution on their premises.
The changes eyed by city council are similar to changes to laws elsewhere in the United States, he said.
The ordinance also intends to take a tougher stance towards those who commit human trafficking, Napier said.
Henley wrote in his memo that the revisions won't stop human trafficking.
"... But it will give law enforcement an opportunity to investigate and prosecute prostitution, not only against the business owners who are involved in human trafficking but against individuals who solicit prostitution," he wrote.
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