CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley's new campaign ad accuses his primary opponent of condoning sex trafficking, a charge that the opponent says "rises to the level of defamation."

The ad that began airing Wednesday cites County Councilman Steve Stenger's legal representation of a man in a 2000 prostitution case. The ad alleges that Stenger "blamed the victims" as part of his defense.

Dooley campaign spokeswoman Linda Goldstein told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1qi1ju6 ) that the decision to air the ad was "difficult," but that Dooley thought it imperative to let women know.

The Stenger campaign says it plans an immediate response to the advertisement.

The two men are opponents in the Democratic primary on Aug. 5.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com