Penalty for johns increased in bill

Feb 8 2013 - 12:23am

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The penalty for patronizing a prostitute will be stiffened if a measure sponsored by Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, makes it into law.

Stevenson is sponsoring a bill, SB 160, to modify Utah code to make a second offense of patronizing a prostitute a class A misdemeanor. The bill cleared a Senate committee and moves to the Senate for further consideration.

The bill comes despite data that shows little activity in the courts involving the offense. Six prostitution cases were handled by Utah district courts in 2012.

Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley, thinks it is odd that penalties are being stiffened for the offense when there have been so few cases. Stevenson said he was running the bill after being asked to do so by Steve Garside, of the Layton City Attorney's Office.

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