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Four people may face federal charges for prostitution

Prostitution allegations can seriously damage a person's reputation. The damage exponentially increases when allegations also pertain to child prostitution. An Auto or Multnomah, Oregon, resident facing this kind of charge may have an uphill climb in terms clearing his or her name. This is especially true when the person is brought up on federal charges.

As a result of "Operation Cross County," four suspected pimps were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Child Exploitation Task Force and local authorities. Also, a total of 13 women were apprehended and will likely face prostitution charges. Two minor children who had been forced into prostitution were rescued through the investigation and offered victim services.

Authorities reported that the alleged pimps acted alone, while a few of them may have organized crime connections. While the men are sure to face state charges of coercion and prostitution, they also may face federal charges if the investigation shows that they tried to prostitute women in multiple states. According to the FBI, local authorities, together with the U.S. Attorney's office, will determine whether federal charges will be imposed.

In a situation where a person is charged with federal crimes, clearing the charges may be very challenging, but is not impossible. It is imperative that a person who is facing such charges is aware of his or her legal rights and takes immediate action. Even the most basic right, like the Fifth Amendment right, which is the right of refusal of the person to speak regarding the charges against that person, can be very helpful. Exercising that right may help in fighting self-incrimination, which may happen when facing ambiguous questions during an investigation.

Auto and Multnomah, Oregon, residents should also consider another essential legal right, which is the right to be represented by an attorney. Having legal guidance, especially at a juncture where charges may be filed in a federal court, can be crucial, as federal offenses tend to be more complex and the penalties are more severe. Exercising this right can make the difference between a prison sentence and a reduction or dismissal of the charges.

Source: Statesman Journal, "4 men arrested, 2 teen prostitutes rescued in Portland," Anna Staver, July 30, 2013

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