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Prostitute Gets Record Cleared

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A former Bronx prostitute became the first American citizen to have her prostitution convictions thrown out under New York's sex-trafficking law.

Leni Johnson, 22, had her convictions dismissed Wednesday after Bronx prosecutors agreed she was forced into the sex trade at age 13. The new state law recognizes child hookers as victims of sex trafficking rather than criminals - and allows their convictions for prostitution to be vacated.

In an unprecedented move for a Bronx prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Cassandra Abodeely told a judge on Wednesday of Johnson's eight years of suffering at the hands of pimps.

The three tossed convictions were the result of a pilot program launched by the Legal Aid Society, aimed at helping victims of human trafficking. Legal Aid lawyer Kate Mogulescu, who heads the project in the Bronx, used the year-old state law to clear Johnson's name.

Two foreign-born prostitutes also have had their convictions tossed.

 

 

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Nasr ul Hadi

is New York-based journalist and multimedia producer. He has worked across print, broadcast and online media, with some of Asia’s largest media brands - Reliance FM, Times of India and NDTV. Beyond work, Nasr has also explored creative and philanthropic projects. He wrote a few episodes for a BBC World Service Trust radio drama on gender issues in South Asian society. He was also part of a team that set up informal primary schools for marginalized children in Aligarh, India. Currently a digital media student at the Columbia Journalism School, Nasr tells stories as text, audio, video, photos, tweets, interactive data and more.