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Report: Sex traffickers given leniency, less jail time

PHOENIX -- Authors of a new study on sex trafficking suggest child predators could and should be receiving tougher penalties, but many are not even being charged with state sex trafficking charges.

"They are being offered lesser crimes, leniency or deferment, which allows them to wipe the record clean, later," said Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at Arizona State University. "[They] must have jail time. We should be able to protect our community and kids. We need to know that our neighbor is trying to buy sex from children by putting the offender on a sex offender registry."

"They are being offered lesser crimes, leniency or deferment, which allows them to wipe the record clean, later," said Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, director of the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at Arizona State University.

According to the Demanding Justice report released by Shared Hope International and ASU, collected data shows "100 percent of those who pay for sex with minors are not charged with sex trafficking crimes." Researchers studied 134 metro areas, including Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and the Baltimore-Washington D.C. Corridor.

The study revealed that one-quarter of the people convicted for soliciting sex from a minor did not serve any jail time. On average, the sentence was 1.5 years, while nearly all sentences handed down were suspended. In addition, less than half of all the perpetrators were forced to register as sex offenders.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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