Manhattan DA’s Office will no longer prosecute prostitution cases

DM

The Manhattan district attorney will stop prosecuting prostitution and unlicensed massage cases — and is tossing thousands of warrants dating as far back as 1975. DA Cyrus Vance Jr. appeared virtually Wednesday in Manhattan Criminal Court to ask Judge Charlotte Davidson to vacate 5,994 bench warrants and dismiss the underlying charges of prostitution, unlicensed massage and loitering for the purpose of prostitution. The motion was granted and the cases dating back to 1975 were dropped. For years, the Manhattan DA has offered people facing these charges services and programs. “Now, we will decline to prosecute these arrests outright, providing services and support solely on a voluntary basis,” said Vance, who added that his office is the first in the state to take this step. Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez’s office also declines to prosecute prostitution cases but only after services have been offered to defendants, a spokesman said. Cecilia Gentili, founder of Transgender Equity Consulting, lauded the new policy.

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