2008_09_jodie.jpgGovernor Paterson signed a bill into law yesterday decriminalizing child prostitution and requiring that people under 18 who are arrested for sexually-oriented crimes be given needed social services. Assemblyman William Scarborough, who sponsored the bill, said that Safe Harbor for Exploited Youth Act will finally treat these young people as victims instead of criminals who have been "exploited by pimps and predators." The bill had been opposed by some law enforcement officials and by the Bloomberg administration for making it more difficult for them to crack down on the sex trade industry. It does have exceptions, allowing prosecution for child prostitutes who have already been through the state's programs as well as those who decline the assistance offered.