The legislature’s Judiciary Committee gutted a bill Monday that was intended to stop the Hartford Advocate and other alternative papers from running its thinly disguised ads for the sex trade.

Lobbied by former House Speaker James Amann, the bill would have made publishers criminally liable for accepting ads that led to an encounter with an underage prostitute.

The revised bill no longer would hold the publishers criminally liable. Instead, it defines the commercial sexual exploitation of a minor as knowingly placing an ad for a sex act that depicts a minor.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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