Activist, Rebekah Charleston, has filed a lawsuit in attempt to end ordinances that allow legalized prostitution in Nevada.
Charleston claims that she was trafficked by two pimps from 1999 through 2009. She says she worked at two legal brothels, the Love Ranch North and Moonlite Bunny Ranch, for several weeks.
In her lawsuit, Charleston alleges that her pimps sent her to the brothels for punishment and that she wasn’t allowed to turn down a sex buyer.
“Something needs to be done,” Charleston said. “Because of the fact that I was trafficked inside the brothels, I just have to stand up and say, ‘No more.’ Women are not public, sexual property to be bought and sold.”
“The state of Nevada has not only failed to enact and uphold federal law, but also allowed Nevadans and those trafficked to Nevada to be exploited to become victims to this under-regulated, exploitative industry,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also asked Nevada to create a $2 million fund for mental health services, job training, rent assistance and medical treatment for brothel workers.
The lawsuit claims that the brothels’ websites and social media accounts violate the Mann Act, a federal law that criminalizes inducing another person to travel between states to engage in prostitution.
Charleston said that she and her lawyer Jason Guinasso tried to ban brothels last year and decided to file the lawsuit now after the #MeToo movement.
“Prostitution is inherently gender-based violence, and there is no way to perform prostitution in a safe way,” she said. “The term ‘sex work’ is a euphemism that makes it sound like something it’s not.”