Mesa cracks down on escort businesses

Posted: Updated:
(Source: KPHO/KTVK) (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

This week, the Mesa City Council unanimously passed a new city ordinance pertaining to escorts and escort services.

"It's the fifth city to do so," said Kathleen Winn of Arizona Anti-Trafficking Network.

Escorts and escort services must now be licensed by the City of Mesa.

"The importance of this is, in the escort business, sometimes there can be a heightened potential for criminal activity," said Winn.

Kathleen Winn, who works for the Arizona anti-trafficking network, says this tougher rule gives the city the power to penalize those who don't register.

 "This helps the city define the legitimate from the illegitimate businesses," said Winn.

The ordinance will also help with tracking online sex-based businesses.

“This crime isn't out on the street anymore. It's on the internet, and this is how people promote and advertise escort services," said Winn.

It also gives local law enforcement more tools to help in the battle against sex trafficking.

"Any time that someone is engaging in the criminal enterprise of sex trafficking, we need to do everything we can to interrupt that criminal enterprise," said   Winn.

The fees for the licenses have not been set by the council yet, but the new ordinance will begin in January 2017.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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