“A proposed law that would give sex-trafficking victims a way to clear multiple prostitution convictions from their records was voted out of the state House of Representatives Monday.
House Bill 1292 would allow victims of sex trafficking in Washington to apply to vacate past prostitution convictions, even if they have been convicted multiple times or are facing another prostitution charge.
Right now, state law only allows for the vacation of one conviction. If victims of sex trafficking have previously had a conviction vacated or are facing new criminal charges, they can’t wipe their records clean again.
Rep. Tina Orwall, D-Des Moines, said that many young people who are prostituted when they are underage later break away from their pimps and try to find jobs, but their prostitution convictions form a barrier to getting hired.
“What happens is these young victims are often brought into this industry for many years…and yet, despite this horrific experience they have, they go on to rebuild their lives,” said Orwall, who is the prime sponsor of the bill. “Unfortunately, it’s these past convictions that make it difficult when they become adults.””
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