Nevada legislators look to make it easier to prosecute pimps; five states look at whether online dating sites should use background checks to protect users; and Missouri prisoners may lose their right to subject others to their bodily fluids.
Anti-Pimp Legislation Under Consideration in Nevada:
The Nevada Legislature is considering a bill that would make it easier to arrest and prosecute pimps. As of now, a prostitute's word has not been enough -- with Nevada law requiring a third party to corroborate the story.
A third party is difficult to come by in these cases because a pimp's dirty work is not typically done in front of other witnesses.
Assembly Bill 470 was unanimously approved by the state's Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 5, and if passed by the full state legislature, would enable law enforcement officials to prosecute pimps based solely on the testimony of one prostitute.
This bill would grant the same presumption of credibility in court to prostitutes as is already granted to victims of sexual assault and child abuse.
Online Daters Could Be Subjected to Background Checks:
As if dating wasn't hard enough already -- lawmakers in five states are considering legislation that would require dating Web sites to notify their paying visitors of whether or not they perform background checks on their members.
Proponents of the bills in Texas, Florida, California, Ohio and Michigan argue that virtual dating can attract real criminals and want to protect those looking for love from finding an Internet-lurking rapist or stalker instead.
Opponents say it's an invasion of users' privacy and forces online dating companies to rely on unregulated private background checks which could lead to a false sense of security for the users.
The dating site True.com, which performs criminal and marital status checks on all members, has been going state-to-state to pitch lawmakers on such a measure.
Kristin Kelly, a spokeswoman for rival site Match.com, told The Associated Press that she considers the campaign by her competitor to be "a thinly veiled PR ploy."
The bill being considered by the Texas Senate would require the sites to inform users that the background checks aren't foolproof. After all, not all criminal records are made public and many databases are not up to date.
Virginia legislators rejected a similar proposal in January.
Missouri Prisoners May Be Forced to Stop Spitting on People:
Missouri state legislators are trying to stop prisoners from spitting on guards, prison visitors and each other.
Some Missouri prisoners have demonstrated a lack of control over their saliva -- prompting state legislators to try and stop them with the threat of more time behind bars.
House bill HB 700 was approved by the state House and sent to the state Senate on April 6 and would charge any inmate with a felony who "attempts to cause or knowingly causes" guards, other prisoners and visitors to "come into contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, feces or saliva," according to the bill.
Should the bill be passed by the state Senate, it would allow Class D felony charges -- which are punishable by a maximum of four years in prison -- for inmates who expose others to the bodily fluids named above. Should the inmates know they are carrying HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C, the felony would get bumped up to a Class C, which is punishable by up to seven years.
The Associated Press contributed to this report