Those convicted of prostitution while being involved in sex trafficking can now get their convictions vacated under a new law signed into effect Tuesday by Gov. Jay Inslee.
“This is important in our fight against human trafficking,” Gov. Inslee said.
Advocates for sex trafficking survivors said hundreds of people with past convictions are expected to get their records cleared.
“It’s exhilarating,” said Noel Gomez, co-founder of Living in Victory, a Seattle organization that advocates for survivors.
Gomez was also trafficked by a pimp.
She said past convictions make it hard to find work or places to live.
“When you have prostitution on your record it’s a stigma against you for the rest of your life,” Gomez said.
She has convictions from other states and would like to see the new Washington state law become a federal one.