Last year, the Trafficking Victims Protection and Justice Act was introduced in an effort to curb child prostitution. The bill would make the punishment for paying for sex with a minor the same as statutory rape, and also make it easier for prosecutors to go after people who hire out underage prostitutes. It did not make it to the floor for a vote last year. But Governor Cuomo’s decision to include some of the provisions in his women’s equality agenda has supporters more optimistic this time around.

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