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Updated Jul 24, 2014 - 2:57 pm

Arizona crackdown on human trafficking goes into effect

PHOENIX -- One of the nation's toughest laws against human trafficking went into effect in Arizona on Thursday.

The law increases penalties for johns, protects victims and adds child prostitution, sex and labor trafficking to the list of acts considered racketeering.

"Whether you come from across the country or down the street, women and girls in Arizona are not for sale," said Glendale Police Chief Debbie Black.

The law was signed with the upcoming Super Bowl in mind, an event that typically sees a spike in prostitution -- adult and child alike.

"This is a proud and significant day for Arizona, particularly for those who have been personally affected by the horrendous crime of human trafficking," said Gov. Jan Brewer after signing the law in April. "There is much more work to be done in our fight to eliminate this atrocious modern-day slavery, but in signing this legislation and implementing critical measures, we take another good step forward in the right direction."

A new public advertising campaign also began Thursday. It features the slogan behind the law, "In Arizona, we're not buying it."

"As for the excuses you've gotten away for years, if not decades, in Arizona, we're not buying it," said Black.

The law also requires escort and massage therapy businesses to include their license number in all advertising.

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About the Author


Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.

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