Created: 10/02/2013 5:53 PM WHEC.com
It's a first of its kind court designed to treat victims of sex trafficking crimes. A human trafficking court opened in Rochester. Officials say while it's something you may not think happens in our area, it is a growing problem.
Until this point, anyone involved with the crime was treated as a criminal. One judge says that's not the case.
Judge Ellen Yacknin, Human Trafficking Court, said, “It's about time that the judicial system start to recognize that because we just perpetuate a cycle that brings no change to our community.”
Anyone charged with crimes related to human trafficking or prostitution will appear in the court presided over by Judge Ellen Yacknin. It will allow officials to give the victims the treatment they need , such as medical or mental treatment rather than punishing them for their experiences. In most cases, people will have the charges dismissed after undergoing treatment.
Yacknin said, "You're still charged with a crime, we're not saying that. But we are going to look at you differently. If you don't succeed you go to jail."
The court is part of the nation's first-ever statewide system of courts designed to step in and help people involved with trafficking rings or other sex crimes.