Bill to aid trafficking prosecutions heads to Cuomo's desk

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Legislation designed to help prosecutors go after sex traffickers has cleared the New York Legislature and awaits action by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

New York and Alabama are now the only states whose trafficking laws generally require victims to testify in court. In New York, that's because law requires authorities to prove coercion, a high standard that usually relies on victim testimony.

Victim advocates and former prosecutors say that can re-traumatize underage victims and make it harder for authorities to win convictions because victims may refuse to testify.

The bill passed the state Assembly on Wednesday and received final passage in the state Senate on Wednesday evening.

Cuomo, a Democrat, hasn't weighed in on the legislation but supporters say they see no reason for him to veto it.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)