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5/8/2014 House OKs Corvese bill to seize pimps’ profits
 STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Arthur Corvese to help law enforcement target pimps and others who derive proceeds from pandering or permitting prostitution in the state.

The legislation (2014-H 7620) will now be sent to the Senate, which has already passed similar legislation (2014-S 2820) sponsored by Sen. Frank S. Lombardi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston). Both legislators introduced the legislation on behalf of Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin.
Under current law, those convicted of prostitution have been subject to forfeiture of any assets received due to their unlawful acts. But those who induce or allow another to provide those services have not been subject to the forfeiture of proceeds that result from the unlawful activity.

The legislation passed today will strike the forfeiture provision from law as it applies to prostitutes, and will add the forfeiture provision to the law dealing with “pimps,” or, as the law describes them, individuals who by any promise or threat, by abuse or by any other device or scheme cause, induce, persuade or encourage a person to become a prostitute.

“Currently, our laws punish prostitutes, but give a free pass to those who are the kingpins in this illegal trade. Individuals who profit from forcing others into prostitution must not be allowed to keep the money they’ve made from it. This change allows the state to continue to punish prostitution appropriately, but also to follow the money to the people who perpetuate criminal enterprises and seize it,” said Representative Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence).

The legislation also adds the offense of conspiracy to violate the Uniform Controlled Substances Act to those offenses subject to the forfeiture provisions.

The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Raymond A. Hull (D-Dist. 6, Providence, North Providence), Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro (D-Dist. 37, Westerly), Rep. Jan P. Malik (D-Dist. 67, Warren, Barrington) and Rep. Michael J. Marcello (D-Dist. 41, Scituate, Cranston).

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-1923