Sex trafficking and forced prostitution are horrific crimes and nothing unusual in Queens. Among the most common victims are women and girls from other countries who immigrate here hoping to find good jobs and build new lives, only to be enslaved by criminals who then pimp them out.
But state Sen. Jose Peralta and Assemblyman Francisco Moya, both Democrats of Jackson Heights, are doing what they can to protect women from that life. Their latest effort is a bill that would reclassify sex trafficking as a violent felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, compared to the current three. It should be passed and signed into law without delay.
The Chronicle has highlighted this issue for years, and has been recognized by the Queens-based Center for the Women of New York both for our coverage and our longstanding refusal to accept ads for “escorts” and “massage parlors” that are really fronts for prostitution. We’re proud to decline the money some of our competitors make off these ads. And proud to support the Peralta-Moya bill, as we hope you also will do.