, New York Times
The district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., moved to dismiss thousands of cases dating back decades, amid a growing movement to change the criminal justice system’s approach to prostitution.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office announced Wednesday that it would no longer prosecute prostitution and unlicensed massage, putting the weight of one of the most high-profile law enforcement offices in the United States behind the growing movement to change the criminal justice system’s approach to sex work.
The district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., asked a judge on Wednesday morning to dismiss 914 open cases involving prostitution and unlicensed massage, along with 5,080 cases in which the charge was loitering for the purposes of prostitution.
The law that made the latter charge a crime, which had become known as the “walking while trans” law, was repealed by New York State in February.
The announcement represents a substantive shift in the Manhattan district attorney’s approach to prostitution. Many of the cases Mr. Vance moved to dismiss dated to the 1970s and 1980s, when New York waged a war against prostitution in an effort to clean up its image as a center of iniquity and vice.