Includes Pending Cases and Disposed Cases in Which Bench Warrant Was Ordered;

Some Cases Date Back To 1970s and 1980s


Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark announced that the Supervising Judge of Bronx Criminal Court, George A. Grasso, today granted her Office’s motion to dismiss more than 800 cases that involved the charge of Loitering for Prostitution.


District Attorney Clark said, “For some time, my Office has declined to prosecute the charge Loitering for the Intent of Prostitution, which disproportionately targets women, LGBTQ people and at-risk youth. There hadn’t been an arrest for this offense in the Bronx since 2018.  I supported the repeal of the penal law 240.37, and it was officially repealed by the state legislature last month.


“The dismissal of warrants and cases related to this charge is the right thing to do. Warrants create obstacles when people apply for housing, jobs or other resources. With today’s action, hundreds will be able to move forward without collateral consequence. This is part of my overall effort to focus resources on prosecuting sex traffickers and provide assistance for those victimized by the sex trade.”


           Supervising Judge Grasso said, “Today’s action in Bronx Criminal Court clearly and swiftly effectuates the letter and the intent of the New York State Legislature’s repeal of Penal Law Section 240.37. Individuals who had current matters pending in our Court where the sole charge was the alleged violation of this repealed law are now able to move on with their lives. This is another example of the ability of the Criminal Court to effectuate justice notwithstanding the ongoing pandemic.”


Any open cases with the sole charge of penal law 240.37 have been dismissed. The dismissal also applies to cases in which a defendant pleaded guilty but failed to comply with a fine or other condition that was ordered by the court.


The motions include 278 pending cases and 544 disposed cases in which a warrant was ordered—for a total of 822 cases. Out of the 278 pending cases, 251 had open warrants. Some cases date back to the 1970s and 1980s.


The application for dismissal was filed in a virtual appearance before Judge Grasso. He vacated open warrants and withdrew the plea of guilty in order to dismiss and seal each case. The order was stayed 90 days, to provide adequate time for the court to properly reflect this order in its records and communicate the same to the New York State Department of Criminal Justice Services. Defendants should see changes reflected in their records over the next 90 days.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email