It looks like Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Codes Committee chief Joseph Lentol are playing for time to protect monsters who coerce teens into prostitution.
New York is one of just two states whose laws don’t automatically assume that a minor has been trafficked against her will. Instead, the girls must testify in detail as to how they were abused.
As The Post’s recent series on the horrors of child sex-trafficking quoted one victim’s mom: “How does a child . . . sit in a courtroom and prove that they are raped?”
Indeed. And for years the state Senate has passed bills to fix the problem. But the Assembly has balked, with Lentol (D-Brooklyn) bottling the legislation up in committee.
He says he fears prosecutors might use the law against other girls who’ve been trafficked — and then somehow played along as other girls get “recruited.”
Yet plenty of other Democrats, such as Assemblywoman Amy Paulin and now Gov. Cuomo, don’t seem to see the problem.
Lentol tells us he hopes to produce a bill by next month’s end-of-session. That looks like he wants the reform to (at best) get caught up in the crazed final days of bargaining — and perhaps contain some “poison pill” that defeats the purpose.
With 21 days to go in the legislative session, this disgraceful stall needs to end.
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