1 Jul 2004

First woman convicted under Marshalls prostitution law

3:53 pm on 1 July 2004

The Marshall Islands has for the first time sent a woman to jail under new prostitution laws.

The High Court has sentenced a Chinese national, Wang Ya Zhen, to 90 days in jail and fined her 1,000 US dollars.

The Marshall Islands passed legislation two years ago which outlawed prostitution.

The sentence, handed down by Chief Justice Carl Ingram was stronger than either the government prosecutor Posesi Bloomfield or the assistant public defender Talafou Manase had recommended.

A statement from Mr Bloomfield heard at the sentencing, said the Marshall Islands government believed organised prostitution could be a growing problem.