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Friday, November 20, 2015

PROSTITUTION IS JUST ANOTHER VICE SO LET'S LEGALIZE IT

http://thefederalist.com/2015/11/17/prostitution-is-just-another-vice-so-legalize-it/

Dear Lucy:

Prostitution in YOUR opinion may be "just another vice" but pull your head out of the stone age.  I was combating that same logic on talk show stages in 1988 when I was going toe to toe with Joe Conforte, the then owner of the Nevada Mustang Ranch legal brothel.  I sat there on the first show I did against him while four other women got up there and insisting they were having the "time of their lives".  Then when the camera stopped rolling one of those women ran up to me and pleaded with me to save her life.  She told me they had been drugged and forced at gunpoint to get onto a private plane to come to Chicago to take that show.  They did it because women were "disappearing into the night" and they were too scared to oppose him.  Luckily I was working with a program in Chicago called Genesis House.  We staged a fake episode and called an ambulance and got those women out of there into the Genesis House program.

I was living in Los Angeles at the time - this was 1988.  After word spread from her back to the ranch other women started calling me for help.  Women who can't leave the brothel on foot.  They will literally be arrested if they try and leave on foot.  There are no cabs out of there either. The only way out is to be physically picked up and taken out.  So I would come and pick one of them up as needed.  It was not an easy drive to where these ranches are.  You may not realize this but one can obtain a brothel license at 16 years of age.  Too young to smoke, drink vote or even drive a car - but they can work at the ranch.  So they're too young at 16 to even get another type of job.  That's why we take them to www.childrenofthenight.org

We gave a press conference in 2007 which you can read about at www.hightechmadam.com and put out a report on the subject verifying that sex trafficking is existing in legal brothels.  What's worse is that pimps are now driving in from all over the country to put their girls to work there so they can escape prosecution.  Why?  Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a prosecution against a pimp for trafficking someone within a legal brothel?  We found one brave lady who was forced to go to work up there before she was even 16 years of age.  The brothel owners knew she was forced and didn't lift one finger to stop her victimization.  Even worse, the cop who was coming to take their HIV test results was raping her.  The customers were raping her.  And who is she doing to call for help?  We looked and the head of Internal Affairs was the very cop raping her.  So we got her out of there and then once she was strong enough - we set about to file a landmark case.  You can hear her story at www.leavingtheliferadio.com

There's something I want to point out to you about her interview Lucy - that is the ONLY interview in existence by someone who worked at a legal brothel in Nevada who is entirely out of the sex industry, and clean and sober from all drugs.  You will not find one other interview anywhere by someone who was in a brothel and now is out of the business entirely and clean and sober.  Do you know why it makes a difference?  Because if you had a shitty boss would you tell him to his face if you wanted to work again?  Nope.  In the sex industry if you ever want to work in the industry anywhere doing anything - you can't cross one of these owners.  Not when one of them has shot down a famous boxer in cold blood and not done one day in jail you don't.  Also if you have a drug habit and you want to get drugs again - you can't piss them off either.  As it was - for this interview and her efforts against them she's in hiding today.  When word spread she was building a case against her pimp - the Shady Lady brothel was shut down.  All evidence and witnesses have scattered.  As for her - after having her power, TV cable and phone cut off for 3 days to show her their power - then they came in and robbed her apartment, stole her car and then threatened her life and the life of her children if she spoke up again.  The father now has legal custody because of her prostitution arrests - and threatens he will put the children into child porn if she tries to speak out again.  So take that interview for what it is - a very rare look into that world by someone is isn't trying to keep the door open for her to return.

Amsterdam legalized prostitution and they had to shut down the windows districts in 2007.  Do you know why?  Trafficking.  All of it - drugs, sex and even money laundering.

Would you like me to go down the list of what's happened to the last brothel owners that shut down?  Like the one that got shut down because the owner was caught with child porn.  Or the one that got shut down for income tax evasion.  Lance Gilman now is being sued for defrauding investors out of millions of dollars.  I don't care what you say Lucy - "reputable" men don't run brothels.

I am the biggest supporter of decriminalization there is.  I think it's the only way to get an effective case going against a trafficker.  But when you legalize prostitution - you basically provide a "get out of jail" card for the trafficker. Then what?  I ask you who Aubrey could go to for justice?  She was raped by the customers.  Raped by the police.  Raped by everyone.  She had to sleep with the owner to get hired even.  That's how Dennis hires his prostitutes - they have to come up and spend the weekend with him "auditioning".

I could go on and on about the stories the women tell me that we have helped to get out from under legal brothels and the problem is not only do they compare with any story coming out of an illegal brothel - it comes with the fact we can't get a case going to defend her for rape or trafficking the minute she sets foot inside the brothel.  That's it - it's completely up to them then what happens to her.  Then if they catch HIV as independent contractors - they get nothing.  There's no pension.  There's no disability.  There's no vocational rehabilitation - nothing.

I have talked at length to Joe Conforte when he wanted to expand into Califonia and to Dennis Hof and Oscar Goodman when they wanted to expand into Las Vegas.  I have told each of them I would not oppose them and in fact would support them if they would set up (1) an orientation that warns women what they're about to walk into before they can't go back about long term consequences, (2) if the women were provided with phone numbers to call for help if they wanted to bail - like our # and Children of the Night, our number and the National Trafficking Hotline, and (3) if they would set up an exit plan where if they wanted to leave, or go sick or hurt that there was a system set in place to get them onto their feet.  Because they can't even get unemployment insurance if they catch HIV while working at the brothel and they're told they can't refuse a client and they have no idea what the clients HIV status is walking in.  They've all told me to fly a kite.  In fact, Dennis has told me he doesn't want them to have an exit plan because he "spends too much money on recruiting" and Oscar told me that he wants them not to find services in Nevada so they'll leave the state after leaving  their employ.

I did an economic study on prostitution in the brothels for Nevada I provided to the legislature back in 2007.  For every dollar they bring into the system - they take $3.00 back out.  When these women get worn out, sick, disabled, and they just can't do it anymore - guess what?  They wind up on federal disability.  It's what happened to me.  I got older and my body crapped out and now I'm on disability.  Only many of these women have more than one kid.  The average is three children of school age.  They wind up on disability also.   I've got numbers in Nevada of how many of these women wind up on disability when they can't work any longer and the drain they put on the system - and it literally is for every dollar it APPEARS is going into the system - the cast-offs are costing $3.00 out.

That's not even counting the crimes against the johns either.   Read about the G Sting arrests and how Rick Rizzolo was drugging his customers and then maxing out their credit cards.  Well I have calls from "johns" at the legal brothels also reporting to me they got  stolen from.  Lamar Odom?  He had $75,000 cash in his pockets when he went into the brothel.  He winds up overdosed and facing possible drug charges.  Which is what the johns tell me happens when they complain about the theft - they get threatened with something back.  i haven't heard a word about that $75000 since he woke up and got threatened with drug charges.  Do you really think Lamar is going to fight over $75000 and go to jail on drug charges?  No - he'll eat the loss and walk.  Well I got a list of callers of men who say they've been robbed for up to $100000 by their cards maxed out, their bank accounts hacked  and every time they try and get help from someone in authority - they get threatened.  Oh well the Chief then steps down and another one steps in.  Which is what happened with Chief Gillispioe.

And you want to expand this system?  It didn't work in Amsterdam.  It's not working in Nevada.  So please - before you want to go off talking about this system - try talking to some people who aren't trying to talk you into it.  Do you remember how big tobacco used to lie about their products until an "insider" leaked out the truth?  Well Aubrey did tell us the truth about what goes on there and I've heard much worse from women too terrified of retaliation to record their voices.

Now I'm seeing this whole argument gearing up again from the 80's because the medical marijuana lobbyist want to make this just as legal as the marijuana.  Well again it didn't work in Amsterdam.  Maybe the men who run these places and the customers want this - but the women DON'T.  They have no protection at all if these places are legalized.  NONE.

It's why I have to still drive into these places in the middle of the night and smuggle them out of there before anyone realizes they're gone.  The brothel owners are so powerful that Nevada is the ONLY state where I have to take the victims out of state immediately to get them to safety.  We've tried having residential programs in Nevada and they just target and threaten our volunteers and our landlords - so we just take them out of state now.

Please rethink your position.  If you want to read the report, or talk to me or talk to them - fine.  But this is not what the women who have worked up there want.

If trafficking didn't exist - that's one thing.  But it does.  Look I'd love to do drugs - but it's addictive.  That's reality.  In an ideal world I could sit around and get high and not become an addict.  It just doesn't work that way.

Prostitution is the same . I'd love it if trafficking didn't exist.  Honestly Lucy if trafficking didn't exist - I'd be the first one in line to go back to madaming again.  But it does.  I accepted that reality when i took my 1st step back in 1985 and I realized I had to let the business go.  So when you listen to this crap that this is a "victimless crime" you're listening to the denial of the addict because the reality is it just isn't so.

Jody Williams
www.sexworkersanonymous.com

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