Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Southern Nevada anti-prostitution ordinance challenged

Oct 17, 2005, 03:11 PM EDT

The constitutionality of an ordinance targeting Las Vegas-area prostitutes will be debated Wednesday during a Nevada Supreme Court hearing.

A justice of the peace declared the Clark County ordinance unconstitutional last year, but a district judge disagreed.

Lani Silvar, who was charged with, "loitering for the purpose of prostitution," then appealed to the high court.

The ordinance makes it a misdemeanor to induce, solicit, entice or procure another person to commit an act of prostitution.

Police could arrest someone who, "repeatedly beckons to, stops, attempts to stop or engage persons passing by in conversation, or repeatedly stops or attempts to stop motor vehicle operators by hailing, waiving of arms or other bodily gestures."

Susan Burke, a deputy public defender representing Silvar, argues that the ordinance is too vague and arbitrary.

She says the ordinance infringes on a constitutional right to move about, and encourages arbitrary police enforcement.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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