New city court to tackle human trafficking

Sep 30, 2013

Buffalo City Court is adding another specialized court for human trafficking and prostitution cases as part of a statewide program.

City court has specialized courts for veterans, drugs and mental health issues. The new state program sets up a court for human trafficking and prostitution cases in 11 courthouses across New York. Buffalo's court will cover the eight counties of Western New York. City Judge Amy Martoche will be in charge.

Buffalo City Court
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Chief Judge Thomas Amodeo says there are not many cases, about 180 right now, but they are very time consuming since one case may involve up to 25 court appearances. That's in a court with 30,000 cases this year.

"The end result in the recidivist rate is enormously great. We've helped more people and delivered more drug-free babies through our system that would cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars just in housing them in jail," Amodeo says.

These cases are separate from human trafficking cases which go through the federal courts. Judge Amodeo says these won't only be prostitution cases, although there will be some of those.

He says City Court is now handling an assault case which turned out to be an individual who attacked his employer who smuggled him into this country and was taking all of his pay.