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Updated Feb 6, 2014 - 11:07 am

Arizona House panel OKs bill aimed at pimping of minors

Cindy McCain and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addressed a gathering during Super Bowl week on the effects of human trafficking. (AP Photo)

PHOENIX -- An Arizona House committee has unanimously approved a sweeping bill targeting pimps who traffic minors for sex.

The bill will also crack down on escort agencies that buy ads on Internet sites filled with sex-related ads.

The proposal championed by the wife of Sen. John McCain and by Gov. Jan Brewer was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Cindy McCain said the proposal puts Arizona in the forefront of the fight against trafficking because it imposes harsh penalties for pimps and takes a step toward holding firms that advertise girls and women for sex accountable.

House Bill 2454 increases the minimum penalties for a child prostitution conviction to 10 years to 24 years in prison. It also makes pimping a child a racketeering offense that will allow asset seizures.

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