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Rape laws in the State of New York
While I realize that not all of my readers
are from New York, I wanted to share what I learned last night because I
think it is something that we need to worry about on the anti-human
trafficking front.

New York State Criminal Procedure Law Section 60.42 (otherwise known as New York's Rape Shield Law) covers the
protection of rape victims during trial and stipulates what types of
evidence are admissible and what types are not. According to subsection
2, any convictions of prostitution that the victim may have had in the
three years prior to a rape accusation are admissible during the trial
as a defense for the accused.

How does this hurt human trafficking?

Simply put, if, for instance, a woman who was trafficked and is being forced into sexual slavery had been caught and
too afraid to speak up about being trafficked due to the large amounts
of fear instilled by her trafficker and subsequently convicted of
prostitution, but is then one day finally able to come forward and put
in a rape charge, she will have trouble proving that she was raped
because of the stigma that goes with being charged with and convicted of
prostitution.

While I am not here to discuss or make a decision on the moral dilemmas behind prostitution or whether prostitution should
be made legal, I am hear to make a difference in human trafficking.
Such exceptions to the Rape Shield Law in New York State are simply a
hindrance and punishment to those women who are able to escape their
slavery.


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