PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – An effort in Rhode Island to close a legal loophole permitting indoor prostitution faces a major test this week.

House lawmakers plan to vote Wednesday on a bill making prostitution a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison and a $1,000 fine. A second offense would carry a prison term of one year.

In a compromise meant to protect victims of human trafficking, accused prostitutes could escape prosecution if they were abused, threatened or had their passports confiscated to keep them from fleeing.

Police say the change is necessary to target indoor prostitution since current state law only prohibits streetwalkers and soliciting sex outside.

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