NEW YORK (PIX11) — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. on Wednesday called on the New York State Legislature to pass a bill that would provide legal immunity to people who engage in the commercial sex trade, should they report being victims or witnesses of a crime.
“New York is safer when survivors and witnesses feel comfortable reporting crimes,” Bragg said in a statement released on Wednesday. “But individuals involved in the commercial sex trade often feel reluctant to report crimes because they are afraid they will be prosecuted themselves for prostitution offenses.”
The bill, which was introduced by New York Rep. Richard N. Gottfried and Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda, provides immunity from prosecution for certain individuals engaged in prostitution who are victims of or witnesses to a crime and who report such crime or assist in the investigation or prosecution.
“Silencing these individuals does not protect us, it only protects the perpetrators of the crimes these survivors and witnesses are too afraid to report,” Bragg added.