(Miranda Willson | Las Vegas Sun) – Representatives of Nevada’s legal brothel industry say they’re prepared to fight against two efforts to ban brothels statewide that were announced this week.
State Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, said he will file legislation to end the decades-old brothel industry in Nevada on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported. . . .
Hardy’s announcement came on the heels of another potential threat to the industry in Nevada’s rural counties. On Monday, former prostitute and human trafficking victim Rebekah Charleston filed a federal lawsuit against Nevada, alleging that the state-sanctioned industry facilitates sex trafficking and violates federal laws.
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Considering Charleston’s lawsuit and Hardy’s bill, representatives from the legal brothel industry say they are prepared to campaign against any statewide ban, as they did leading up to the referendum in Lyon County.
Lance Gilman, owner of the Mustang Ranch brothel in Storey County, insisted that sex trafficking does not take place in the state’s highly regulated legal industry. Women who work in the state’s brothels must undergo background checks to determine their age, criminal history, immigration status and other details. They also partake in routine medical examinations for STIs and other transmittable diseases.
“The ladies that work in our legal industry choose to come to our places,” Gilman said. “They primarily do it because they’re safe, [and] the customers are safe.”
Criminalizing prostitution statewide, Gilman added, would push many legal prostitutes into illegal sex work, including in Las Vegas, where prostitution is outlawed but remains more common than anywhere else in the state.