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North Carolina Man 1st to be Charged with New VA. Sex Trafficking Law

Posted: Updated:
Robert Lewis Dillard Robert Lewis Dillard
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A North Carolina man charged with pimping in Henrico County is the first person to face a new Virginia law backed by Charlottesville Delegate Robert Bell.

The law, HB 1964 / SB 1188, increases prison time for people found guilty of recruiting women for prostitution.

Robert Lewis Dillard, 27, is charged with trying to get women to work for him in the sex trade, among other things. He could face decades locked up if found guilty. 

A team of investigators say they found Dillard at an inn near Richmond Wednesday with a woman who allegedly advertised her services online.

“Obviously, you want to take this particular bad guy off the street so that he doesn't recruit others, but you're hopeful that other people who will see this - And human trafficking has become a very successful criminal enterprise, a lot of money flows through it - will say, 'oh my gosh I don't want to go to prison, maybe I shouldn't do it the next time'," said 58th District Del. Bell (R).

The new law is designed to go after the people who profit from sex trafficking and tries to rehabilitate people victimized by it. It went into effect July 1.

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