A federal judge in Nevada has dismissed a lawsuit that invoked sex trafficking laws Online Cigarettes Store USA in a bid to close the nation's only legal brothels.
U.S. District Judge Miranda Du in Reno said in her Tuesday ruling that she empathized with three women who claim they were victims of sexual violence in Nevada and other places.
However, the judge said the women live in Texas and she wasn't convinced the profound harm they said they suffered was due to Nevada prostitution laws.
"That plaintiffs were unlawfully forced into prostitution and sex trafficked in Nevada and other states is not sufficiently traceable to Nevada laws ... as opposed to other factors, namely the illicit behaviors of private bad actors," Du wrote.
Attorney Jason Guinasso, representing plaintiffs Rebekah Charleston, Angela Delgado-Williams and Leah Albright-Williams Newport Pleasure , said they may appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.
The Associated Press generally does not name people who say they have been victims of sexual assault, but Guinasso said the women consented to be named in the lawsuit and news reports.
Guinasso previously served as a lawyer for a Nevada group, "No Little Girl," that led an unsuccessful campaign last year Newport box 100s cigarettes for a ballot measure to end prostitution in Nevada's Lyon County.