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Missouri expands crime of sex trafficking to cover ads

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(ThinkStock)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Advertising commercial sex acts soon will be a crime in Missouri under an expanded sex trafficking law.

Legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Jay Nixon will expand the crime of sex trafficking in the state to include ads. It takes effect Aug. 28.

Proponents say it will help law enforcement crack down on predators. It outlaws ads on posters, websites, apps and other places for prostitution and pornography of children and non-consenting adults.

Those found guilty of sex trafficking face up to 20 years in prison or life behind bars if the victim is a minor or trafficking was committed using force.

Victims of human trafficking also will be eligible for the state’s address confidentiality program, which is aimed at shielding where participants live to protect them from abusers.