Human Traffic Watch

New New York State law lets sex-trafficking victims clear their convictions

In Awareness, Child Sex Trafficking, Forced Prostitution, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Sex Trafficking on September 13, 2012 at 11:58 am

It has been decades since she was coerced into prostitution as a 15-year-old foster kid, years since she left “the life.”

But even though she now has a college degree and a job running afterschool programs, she says she won’t truly escape her past until she can expunge five convictions on her record.

“It’s almost like walking on eggshells, to be honest with you,” said the 42-year-old Queens woman, whom the Daily News is identifying as Nicole. “I have aspirations. I’m looking to get an advanced degree. . . . I want to go as far as I can go. And it’s almost scary, because I’m thinking I’m going to hit that and it’s going to just knock me back down.”

Two years ago, New York became the first state to allow victims of sex trafficking to clear convictions from their record. Only 11 have done it, according to advocates, but after a slow start, many more cases are now in the pipeline.

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