Pimping Penalties Light in Vegas; Authorities Want to Get Tougher


Two prominent cases involving pimps have thrust sentencings in sex crimes into the Las Vegas spotlight this year, ahead of proposed legislation that would create stiffer penalties for this class of criminals, reports the Las Vegas Sun. In July, a judge sentenced a pimp, 48-year-old Raymond Sharpe, to 13 life terms in prison. One of those life sentences, for first-degree kidnapping with a deadly weapon, mandates he serve the term without the possibility of parole.

Detective Cathy Hui said the cases send a strong warning to other active pimps: Pandering — forcing or persuading a person to engage in prostitution — and other related crimes, especially those involving violence, will not be tolerated. Under current law, pandering an adult without the use of physical force or threats carries a prison sentence of one to four years. Even if a person is convicted of pandering a child and gets a 10-year prison sentence, the pimp likely will be released in three or four years, said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson. “That's not very much,” he said. “I think there's good reason for a push to increase the penalties.” Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto agrees. Her office is drafting a bill that would crack down on defendants convicted of sex trafficking.

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