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Prostitution penalty increase sought

ST. PAUL -- A Senate-passed bill would increase penalties for attempting to hire a minor for prostitution. In legislation state senators passed 59-0 Tuesday, makes it a felony for intentionally soliciting minors. The penalty now is 60 days in jai...

ST. PAUL -- A Senate-passed bill would increase penalties for attempting to hire a minor for prostitution.

In legislation state senators passed 59-0 Tuesday, makes it a felony for intentionally soliciting minors. The penalty now is 60 days in jail or a $1,000 fine, but the bill allows up to 20 years in prison for hiring a person younger than 13 for sexual reasons and up to 10 years for people between 13 and 16.

"It seeks to make law enforcement sting operations more effective," said bill sponsor Sen. Sandy Pappas, D-St. Paul. "Current law inadequately protects minors from prostitution." A similar bill awaits House action.

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