New Penalties for Online Sex Ads Featuring Minors

<p>Washington State Flag</p>

Washington State Flag

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Gov. Jay Inslee has signed into a law a measure imposing a $5,000 fine for those using online ads to help sell the sexual services of a minor.

The new law, signed by the governor today, is meant to target pimps who use websites like Backpage.com to advertise minors for sex.

The new penalty is in addition to those already in place for sexually trafficking minors.

Last year, then-Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law a measure penalizing websites on which sex ads featuring minors appeared if they failed to make a reasonable effort to verify the minors' age.

That law appeared to conflict with existing federal laws, however, and the state Attorney General's Office agreed in December not to enforce it.