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NY Prosecutors Condemn Confiscating Condoms as Evidence of Prostitution
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Even though carrying condoms is legal, the NYPD have used seized condoms as evidence for establishing prostitution cases for long. However, the practice has found many opponents and on Thursday, two NY prosecutors, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said that they would no longer consider unused condoms as evidence in prostitution cases.

The prosecutors emphasized that carrying condoms should not pose any kind of risk to anyone, regardless of their activities because the value of condoms for the purpose of protecting public health was much greater than their value as evidence in courtrooms.

For long, public health activists have criticized the practice of using seized condoms by the police as evidence to establish probability of prostitution. Such practices discourage prostitutes from carrying condoms and directly encourage and increase the chances of spreading sexually transmitted diseases.

  
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Kathleen Rice, Nassau County DA, said, “We need to put public health above the very little value of using condoms for prosecuting prostitution and trafficking.”

Prosecutors in San Francisco were the first in the nation to stop producing condoms before the bench in order to establish cases of prostitution.

New York state lawmakers are soon set to vote on a bill that would prevent the introduction of unused condoms as evidence in any criminal case at all. However attempts to pass similar bills have failed earlier.

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The police continue to defend their position and seizing unused condoms as evidence. Last week, Hynes asked NY Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to ask his department not to collect condoms in prostitution cases within Hynes’ jurisdiction.

Despite warnings or public health activists, the police in large cities continue to confiscate condoms as evidence of prostitution, and consequently discouraging sex workers from carrying condoms.





 

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