California agrees to compensate raped sex workers

14 rape victims who worked as prostitutes are eligible for compensation

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A state board has granted 14 rape victims who had been working as prostitutes the right to be compensated, the first such action since it reversed its policy on the issue last year.

The California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board took the action Thursday on behalf of women whose claims had previously been denied.

The victims' next step is to submit the amount of compensation they are seeking.

Thursday's action follows a vote by the board in December to eliminate a policy that banned compensation for those who were attacked while working as prostitutes.

Prostitutes had been excluded from receiving victims' compensation since 1999 because their activities are illegal.

Board chairwoman Marybel Batjer says board staff will continue reviewing old cases to see if any more victims now qualify.

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