Quinn signs law to help sex trafficking victims

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Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation aimed at allowing the victims of sex trafficking to have their prostitution convictions vacated.

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation aimed at allowing the victims of sex trafficking to have their prostitution convictions vacated.

Quinn says trafficking victims "deserve a chance to clear their records and rebuild their lives."

Trafficking victims are typically women and girls forced into the sex trade against their will.

The bill allows prostitution defendants who are the victims of trafficking to file a motion to have their convictions vacated. The measure also creates a filing timeline for victims, who officials say may endure years of abuse before seeking help.

Sen. Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) and Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood) sponsored the bill, which was supported by organizations including the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Rape Victim Advocates and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

The bill takes effect Jan. 1.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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