Rep. Hearn's bill aimed at adult entertainment business

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Addressing the issue of prostitution and alleged human trafficking in the adult entertainment industry, Attorney General Kilmartin recently filed legislation that requires owners, operators, employees and independent contractors to undergo a national criminal background check. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Joy Hearn (D-District 66, Barrington, East Providence).

This act would require, as of Sept. 1, 2014, those persons who are owners, operators, employees or independent contractors of an adult entertainment business or establishment to undergo a national criminal records check. Those whose national criminal records check returned disqualifying information would be barred from owning, operating or working in these businesses or establishments.

“The adult entertainment industry in our state has once again become a front page story — one that includes a 14-year-old girl hired to be a stripper. It is our responsibility to our children and to women across the state that we take very seriously their protection and will work actively against human trafficking and prostitution,” said Rep. Hearn.

“I am pleased to be sponsoring H7518 on behalf of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin to aggressively send the message to the adult entertainment industry in Rhode Island that things must change. This legislation requires owners, operators, employees and independent contractors to undergo a national criminal background check. I believe this step will go a long way in curtailing behavior that has crossed the line.”

Adult entertainment businesses and establishments are regulated by the municipal licensing authority of the city or town where the business or establishment is located. The act provides that the municipal licensing authority receive the results of the national criminal records checks for owners and operators prior to the granting of a license or the renewal of a license.

The act further provides that owners and operators must keep records of the national criminal records checks of those seeking employment or to become an independent contractor on file subject to inspection by the municipal licensing authority. Failure to require and maintain such checks would be grounds to revoke the license of the adult entertainment business or establishment.

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