Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Prostitution cases frequently a waste of law enforcement resources

Last week, Alexis Wright, a Zumba instructor and part-time hooker who plied both trades out of her Kennebunk, Maine, dance studio, was sentenced to 10 months in jail on charges related to prostitution and state tax evasion.
The media covered the heck out of the story because it involves sex and Wright, 30, is an attractive woman.
Prostitution, when between consenting adults, should not be something cops and courts are concerned with. Sexual slavery, human trafficking and child prostitution should be targets for law enforcement.
As with marijuana dealing, prostitution needs to be taken out of the shadows, legalized, regulated and taxed. U.S. state and federal governments don’t need to play morality police.
Having Wright, a single mother, sit in jail isn’t going to improve the world. The streets aren’t any safer with her behind bars. As for the charges that Wright evaded taxes and defrauded the state to receive welfare, she absolutely needs to make good and settle up. She was ordered to pay $58,000 in restitution. (See articles by U.S. News and World Report and the Daily Mail.)
Or, consider the media coverage of three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton, who admitted in December to working as a high-priced escort for the prior year.
Once again, attractive woman plus sex equals popular news story. The fact that she was a public figure with lots of available photos helped the story even more. (See articles by the Daily Mail, the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Radar Online, which even had a photo slideshow.)
Then, there’s the case of hockey mom madam Anna Gristina, who ran a call girl service in New York that was broken up last year. Her partner in crime was gorgeous glamour girl Jaynie Mae Baker. (See articles by the New York Daily News, the New York Post, the Christian Post and the Daily Caller.)
Last year, porn actress Nichole Heiress was arrested in northeast Ohio for soliciting sex on the classified website BackPage.com. (See articles by NewsNet 5 in Cleveland and Xbiz.)
Personally I don’t see much of a difference between getting paid to perform sex on camera or off camera. It’s the same thing, although the former is considered protected speech under the First Amendment.
Somehow this reminds me of a joke Johnny Carson used to tell about an indecent proposal.
On “The Tonight Show,” Carson told the story of a wealthy man who was entranced by a beautiful woman at a social function. He introduced himself, made her aware of his wealth, and asked her if she would have sex with him for one million dollars.
“Yes, I suppose so,” said the lady.
“Well, would you do it for one dollar?” replied the man.
The woman was shocked and offended. “What kind of woman do you think I am?” she responded.
“We’ve established that,” the man said. “Now we’re just haggling over the price.”
(Note: Quote Investigator has traced the humorous story back to 1937.)
A website called WhatsYourPrice.com blurs the line between online dating and prostitution.
Members of the service are divided into two groups: “the generous” (men) and “the attractive” (women), the Huffington Post reported.
“Attractive users are invited to create profiles on the site, featuring all the basic information you’d find on most dating networks, as well as the amount of money they’d accept for someone to go on a date with them. The generous, meanwhile, can browse through these profiles, and make offers to any attractive users that catch their eye. Once an offer is made, the attractive member can choose to accept it, reject it, or come up with a different price.”
The service is not prostitution because the men are bidding on first dates, not sex, the company told Gawker.
That may be true. But even massage parlors only advertise giving massages.

Photos: Jennifer Love Hewitt, star of “The Client List,” a show about a single mother who becomes a prostitute to make ends meet.

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