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Friday, January 1, 2016

LETTER TO THE BELOW PEOPLE ABOUT SOUTHERN NEVADA TASK FORCE

contact@nhfinternational.org contact@congojustice.com Thecupcakegirls Info Hannah Dreier pwgirls@purplewings.org Hookersforjesus Info Awakenreno Info StreetTeens@Earthlink.net Stacey Cramer penny_matheson@usn.salvationarmy.org Kat Jaramillo NevadaWatch Dog john@aaprintinglasvegas.com Aaron Ford John Hambrick Jennifer Reed john_9528@msn.com John Hambrick robert.hoo.lv@gmail.com Tom Ragan Alexis Kennedy Not For Sale susan.gaither@sen.state.nv.us  mccouch@lasvegasnevada.gov   info@polarisproject.org


On Friday, January 1, 2016 11:19 AM, Jody Williams <sexworkrecovery@yahoo.com> wrote:


Dear New Hope Foundation, Congo Justice, Cupcake Girls, Purple Wings, Awaken Reno, and Hookers for Jesus, Street Teens, Salvation Army:

I'm writing you about the situation concerning people who go online looking for help for themselves, or for someone they care about.  

When I type in the following key words in Google which when I ask callers what are the key words they  used to find us these appear to be the most typical:

help to leave prostitution Las Vegas or Nevada
help to stop stripping in Las Vegas or Nevada
help to leave porn industry in Las Vegas or Nevada
recovery groups from prostitution in Las Vegas and Nevada
recovery from sex trafficking in Las Vegas and Nevada
escape from sex trafficking in Las Vegas and Nevada

These are pretty much the key words that people who are looking for help online who are in some part of Nevada usually type in.  While granted they may type in the names of your respective groups - not everyone looking for help does this.  

Also, many people report to me when they reach our hotline that they did in fact tried to reach your group first.  It was after trying to reach out to your group, then getting no answer, that they then started going on Google to search for alternatives. That's when they'll type in those keywords.  
When people type in those keywords - that's when they find contact information for our hotline.  

Now when googling for the Southern Nevada Sex Trafficking Task Force one comes upon:



http://congojusticelv.org/th_event/snhttf-annual-conference/ where the contact information is Congo Justice.  Then there's the conference in October but I was told that was postponed.  I have not been told when a new date has been set yet either.

We were in the Polaris directory for Las Vegas - but I threw them with the move to Los Angeles.  I think they got confused but I'm sure they'll fix the listing shortly.   Meaning that our program will show back up in there soon.  In the meantime however, the only program showing up for Las Vegas is the Hookers for Jesus Program.  The problem with that however is I keep getting calls from people telling me they're not always answering all their calls or emails. 

I don't answer every call immediately either - but I return calls I miss within 24 hours and I answer all emails within 48 hours.

I can't answer every call immediately because we have no answering service.  To ensure that only a survivor answer the phone - sometimes that means I'm answering the phone overnight.  This means sometimes I'm sleeping on the phone!  It would be nice to get more survivors to help out with the hotline but the majority of our members who can answer the phone (not worried about their voices being recognized) are working and therefore either are at work or are also sleeping. 

Here's some problems we're running into when people are looking for help in Nevada:

1.  Awaken Reno:  All I know is what I'm told by people who call our hotline.  Whenever I go onto the site I see a lot of information on fund raisers.  I've had women needing help tell me they've left messages asking for help and have received no answers.  Aubrey is the woman who testified at the legislature in 2013 who actually defeated the brothel's push to expand into Las Vegas by telling them her experience working in the brothels.  She went in by herself after all the other 45 "abolition" groups had gone home after the AB67 hearing was done.   She was a little shook up by the whole thing - especially when she went home to find her power, TV, internet, phone and cable cut off for three days as mine had been after my press conference I gave in 2007 about sex trafficking in the brothels.  Awaken Reno advertises counseling and they are close to her so I called and asked that she please receive counseling.   She was promised counseling and she reported to me that she received a return phone call but no one called her back with an appointment.  

About a week after she left that message, she came home to find everything she owned stolen, and a death threat against her family by the brothel owners who were already angry about the brothel expansion and wanted to make sure she dropped the ground breaking case she was about to file against her pimp for trafficking her while she was working at the Shady Lady.  She wanted to pursue him anyway - but when they sold the Shady Lady we knew they'd scattered the witnesses and evidence so i would be very hard to do so once the club had closed.

Since then I've had four other women say they've left message with AR asking for services to get no answer.  I've left message for 10 women needing services and never got a return phone call or email.  

I've received calls from four people who received volunteer training to do outreach but then never got to do any outreach.  

I've received calls from other ex-prostitutes who wanted to hold SWA meetings but needed help finding a meeting hall.  I suggested they contact AR to ask if they had a meeting space and they've reported back that no one answered their calls either.  I see the site changing so it appears that AR is an active site.  

2.  Carson City, Reno, Lake Tahoe, Pahrump, Las Vegas, Henderson, and Sparks Police - I've left emails with flyers with the police departments for these cities letting them know if they have any prostitutes, or family members, or even police officers, who need help with someone wanting help to leave the sex industry, or to escape trafficking - they can reach us for assistance.  I've also let them know that www.childrenofthenight.org will fly out anyone under 18 years of age to them free and they've been around 18 years of age.  Metro has called a few times to Children of the Night - however, one time they called the girl a "whore".  Another time they called about a child abuse victim and said "isn't that the same thing?" 

Now that these officers are no longer with the force - I will let you know of my experiences with them briefly.  

Chief Gillispie - I tried to go to him with stories the women were telling me about being trafficked only to be ignored and rebuffed.  One of these agencies was one called "Pretty Maids".   They were sending out women who were then telling their "johns" they were being trafficked and the johns could "buy their contracts for $120,000".  Some of the johns were buying these contracts - only to then have the women laugh in their faces.  When two of the johns tried to go to the Chief about this - he refused to look at any of the evidence.  

In the Chris Butler Case, I had information I'd spent a year gathering and witnesses who wanted to testify.  I knew of the locations of the brothels, and the bondage parlors.   I also knew they were having "valets" park the men's more expensive cars, only to then have mechanics take out the very expensive parts and replace them with cheap generics.   Then when they'd fail - the men would have no idea what happened.  They would then take the guns, drugs, stolen parts, and the women and transport them in police cars from Mexico, up through San Diego, through San Mateo, then to Vegas.  From Vegas, they would go in a straight line to Kentucky where they're rest a few days and then go back again.  The good parts were then resold through Auto Zone stores in Califonia through a connection at about $30,000 a week in parts.  They were also doing this to trucks at Bikefest and other concerts.  One of the men was doing sound at the concerts down on Fremont Street.

When I handed all of this information with names, addresses, routes, etc., to Chief Gillispie - within 24 hours everything was cleared out and shut down to the point where the houses had been scrubbed with bleach.  i know because one of the pregnant 13 year old girls showed up at my mother's house because they had kicked her out and she had nowhere to go.   They didn't want to get caught with her - so they just cast her out.  I got her into Children of the Night.  Clearly the Chief could not be trusted so I waited until the police were having an event and I figured they would be doing a drop.

I had a reporter friend arrange to do a "ride along" that weekend. He did. Like we did with Chris Butler when we couldn't get the police to take action, we got one of his agents to go to the media and "shamed" the authorities into taking action.  The reporter did this ride along and then said 'let's do a surprise raid".  That surprise was Operation Dollhouse.  Despite the fact 24 women and baggies of drugs were found in those private homes with mattresses on the floor - they didn't take the women into custody and refused to question them and let them go before ATLAS could question them.  The case against the cops was dropped.  So much for Chief Gillispie.  Granted he later stepped down.

Vic Vigna was head of Vice.  I had seven prostitutes who said he raped them.  I was trying to press charges.  The FBI agent threatened me with locking me up or psychiatric observation if I pushed and Terri Miller refused to open a file into their complaints.  No one at Washington would speak to me about their charges.  Vic of course started spreading the rumor that I was "crazy" but I kept pushing anyway on behalf of these women who said that Vic would threaten to arrest them if they didn't put out to him. I got into a heated argument with his supervisor and Karen Hughes, who was a dispatcher, was made head of Vice.  

There was no Internal Affairs then.  The only IA then was Chief Gillispie.   Karen was friendly to me during the interview for the report Melissa Farley did on sex trafficking.  The day after the press conference however, she stopped speaking to me.  

I had a woman call the hotline who had fresh information on the Jessie Foster case.  The detective on the case wouldn't return my calls while the information was fresh.  She said she knew where Jessie was and was going to have her call me in three days.  When the Detective wouldn't speak to me - i tried to get Karen to speak to me.  She refused.  I again went to everyone- FBI, Washington, everyone - and got nowhere.  This was when Karen was made head of Internal Affairs.  I then went to file a complaint about the detective who wouldn't look at the information I have coming in while it was fresh.  Her response was to tell me to "stop speaking to her" and she cut me off at that point and never spoke to me again.

I had documented cases where I was having 13 year old girls calling me up talking about being pimped out of cars lots over on Boulder Highway so I would of course contact Metro and get no response.  I'd contact Karen and get no response.  I would contact Lou Pascoe and got no response.  I saved all my documentation of trying to reach everyone in Nevada when getting these types of calls and getting nowhere.  Then with the 13 year old girls - I just went and picked them up myself and took them to Children of the Night. I wasn't comfortable driving teenage prostitutes by myself - but it's not like Metro really gave me any choice.  I wasn't going to leave them out there.  With the 13 year olds - I also would leave messages with Hookers for Jesus and get no response as well as Purple Wings and Salvation Army.   When I finally did get a call back from Internal Affairs last month - I was told that since Vic, Gillispie, and Karen are no longer officers at Metro there's "nothing they can do.

When Aubrey told me she was being raped weekly by the officer coming to pick up the HIV test results, I went to check who to complain to and learned that he was the Chief and the website said all complaints had to be filed with the Chief.  She wasn't going to do that. 

3.  Salvation Army - I get no response to my calls or emails.  Whenever I have a victim in Nevada in need of housing over 18 I contact them to ask about housing.  I keep records documenting these attempts to reach out for help and the lack of response.  I've had as many as four women sitting on my couch at a time that I've had to figure out housing for that I've gotten no call back or response to email about.  I've emailed the main emails, the private emails, every email I can and left messages on every phone number that I have.  There's no way these women are going to stand outside the Shade Tree to get assistance there. I've also done the same with Lou Pascoe, and the task force when I've had victims needing help as well as Hookers for Jesus and ATLAS.  With ATLAS I documented over 30 attempts to get help for victims they refused to even discuss with me because they were "not referred by Metro".

4.  Congo Justice - in all your talk about sex trafficking what I've never had anyone report back to me at your events that you've mentioned one word about is the fact that's very crucial with respect to NEVADA victims of trafficking:

a.    The legal age of consent in this state is 16 years of age.  In fact, one can get a license to work at a brothel or a strip club at 16.  A man can have sex with a 16 year old and it's legal.  There have been cases where a girl has runaway in one state and then she's "legal" in Nevada.   A 16 year old girl can't vote, drink, smoke, or drive legally in this state yet she's being driven down to the licensing board and her virginity is being auctioned off for $1,000,000.   When these 16 year old girls arrive at the legal brothels, not driven by themselves, they're told they can't leave the property for 48 hours or they'll be arrested. 

 If they left anyway - there's no payphones, no cabs, no buses, no homes or businesses to go into and call for help. http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/limo-ceo-aides-plead-guilty-las-vegas-racketeering-conspiracy  Do you see that?  For years we had a deal with cab drivers to go in and pick these girls up for free.  The brothel owners saw this and bought the cabs.  Then told the drivers they'd fire them if they drove any woman to us.  When a man set up a "gypsy" cab service - they ran him out of service.  When I had an RV - they put a bomb in it.  I'm lucky it broke down before it went off.  They also trashed our car.  I finally have another one.  

 If they call the National Trafficking Hotline - there's no crime.  Even if there was - the hotline would then tell them what?  Hookers for Jesus is the only one listed on their site and you don't transport.  No resource on the Nevada Attorney General site transports.  The Salvation Army doesn't transport.  OUR PROGRAM IS THE ONLY ONE THAT TRANSPORTS - but not one of your programs is in any open communication with us for some reason.  They threatened off our volunteers who would pick up women but we have a car again SO we are back to being the only program I'm aware of that transports women from the clubs, the brothels, etc., to a safe house or the airport or wherever they need to go to get out of there.

I'd like to see that change.  But it's hard to do when Congo Justice is holding the events and not discussing the fact that the domestic violence shelters, and the safe houses and trafficking programs in Nevada, drug treatment programs in Nevada, aren't transporting or paying for cabs to transport the women to them.

b.  Congo Justice isn't discussing the fact SWA offers alternative sentencing.  Why is this important?  Couple of reasons:

    1.       When a woman is released from jail and she has nowhere to go, no home, etc., the pimps can scoop her up.  However, if instead of jail she's in our program this isn't going to happen.

    2.        When a woman thinks all she has to face is jail - you would think she has a public defender that would tell her she can go to SWA right?  Wrong.  The jail gets $75 a day for each inmate meaning UNLESS SHE ASKS to attend a SWA meeting they're going to keep her and keep the money.  Now if she asks - there's law on the books that allows her to not only do this but to even get bailed out to do this. It's all in the judge's discretion.   Now if she can come to us instead of jail - she's not going to lose her home, her kids, her pets, her job, or possibly even violate her probation in another state. So it's important that woman charged with prostitution KNOW they can ask for SWA as an alternative to sentencing.  

        Now certainly criminal defense lawyers would want the women to know about this right? Not.  As a matter of fact, the Cupcake Girls has a lobbyist who also is the lobbyist for the Nevada Defense Attorney's Association.  Why would they care?  Because we've been helping women expunge their records without hiring an attorney for a minimum of $2500 and up.  Most women who "go straight' don't have that kind of money and I don't know how can "prove trafficking".  I can't.  But we get their rent receipts for a year, proof of working for a year, proof of attending our meetings for a year, along with school and volunteer records and so far the judges have allowed our members to do this.  Another issue is if a woman thinks she's facing jail - she's likely to be scared enough to cough up $2500 and up for a retainer for a criminal lawyer to try and save them from jail.  Only if Congo Justice worked with Nevada prostitutes - they'd know that every criminal lawyer in Vegas and Carson City has asked for sexual favors along with cash in exchange for defending prostitutes.  Meaning that going to retain an attorney for a prostitute usually means sexual harassment.  Which is why I started helping them out in the first place - so they didn't have to have sex with someone to get legal assistance if they didn't want to.  Am I wrong?  Go ask one.  I know what I'm told and that's what they tell me.  Is it true?  No idea.  I encourage them to file a complaint but if they don't want to I can't force them.  All I can do is offer that if arrested for prostitution they can come to our meetings instead of jail and to expunge their records - I can try and help them.  

    Which is another way that these women are "pimped".  The attorney's make payment arrangements with them and then the women make these payments, along with sexual favors. Meaning essentually their attorney's are their pimps.  You want to reduce the pimping?  Then we need to get more of them in alternative sentencing.  Something I'm not able to discuss at any of Congo Justice's meetings because I keep not being invited.  

c.      You want to reduce pimping in Nevada?  Do something about the fact these women can't get their own money from the brothels.  Their "managers" are getting it and that means they can't leave because they don't have any money.  Also meaning that when they finally want to really leave with us - we can't get any of their money.   The brothel owners will not let it go.  We've had to take every woman out of the brothels without a dime - really hard.  You want to reduce their control?  Stop their control over the money.  Something again they don't talk about with respect to Nevada victims!

d.    You want to reduce pimping in Nevada?  Then create an orientation at the licensing board about trafficking and make sure they get the numbers for the trafficking hotline.  BUT REMEMBER it's NOT "trafficking" at the brothels - so please be sure they get OUR phone number as our phone number is for those who "want to leave the sex industry".  Which by the way is why we cover BOTH.  In a trafficking situation there's a crime.  There has to be a crime in order for the police to come out to file a report.   You're a stripper at a strip club and you want out of there?  You call the National Trafficking Hotline and guess what?  No crime.  You call the police and guess what?  No crime.  They can't help you because there's no crime.   MEANING if you "want help to leave the sex industry you call Sex Workers Anonymous".    Why do you think Kemp Shiffer got away with what he did for 12 years?  BECAUSE IT WAS LEGAL.  He was driving 16 year old girls from California to Nevada to work in the brothels and it was LEGAL.
5.     Cupcake Girls:  We have a few issues to discuss here.  First of of all:

    a.    There is no problem for strippers to get work in Nevada if they have a criminal record. Go into any employment agency or HR Dept. at a large casino and you will get a sheet of paper with a list of crimes they will and will not hire for.  Basically as long as it's not fraud or violence - you can get hired.   The problem with their PR stunt is that now we are hearing of strippers who believe this nonsense and now aren't thinking of even trying to look for jobs.   So how are we now going to get the word out to every stripper in Nevada that isn't true?  

    b.    They're fund raisers are not only NOT helping anyone leave the sex industry I have phone calls verifying they've been used for drugs.  The $5000 that they gave to "Kamylla" not only was a scam because she didn't owe rent and she had a free attorney and she wasn't even on the show in th first place, but we got two phone calls in saying the money was used on a drug binge.  Who in their right mind hands $5000 cash to a prostitute with a history of drug use I have no idea!

    The money raised for Heather - we were told she used so many drugs she almost died and is now in rehab because she almost died.  We were called by a friend of the woman asking us "why did they give her so much money?"  I mean people know not to give homeless people that much money - why would you give a working girl that's probably using that much cash you don't know?  The phone calls we got said this almost killed her.

    Raising money for active prostitutes that's going towards drugs - well that's just not helping anyone.  These women are capable of making money.  That's not what they need from us when they come to us - they come to JOHNS for that.  I don't know about you but I AM NOT JOHN and I don't pay a hookers rent.  I think she's perfectly capable of that.   What she's not capable of when she comes to us is STOPPING.  

    This is NOT Christian.  When Jesus saved Mary HE DID NOT TELL HER "you go on doing what you were doing".  He also did NOT put her in a house and pay her bills either!   He told her "go and sin no more".   Then he brought her on a teaching journey.  That's what Jesus did.

    We're in the middle of an HIV epidemic - and I see no free HIV home test kits being given out - just cupcakes.  I don't see the trafficking hotline on the wrappers.   Offering to teach a stripper how to bake is insulting. In their mind if you're doing so well at it - why are you asking them for money?

    Now I want to talk about the ex-strippers that she's blocking them from working.  Women who own salons in Vegas, and who sell make-up and make-up artistry in Vegas who get their clients by going in and doing make-overs who are telling me they're now having to compete with Joy giving free makeovers.  She's now taking clients and business away from women trying to make a living outside of sex work with these free make-overs and it's got to stop.  There is another woman in Vegas also who owns a bakery that she's competing with.  She doesn't want to break her anonymity either - she shouldn't have to.   If she was doing this as outreach - that's one thing - but she's sitting in bars getting tips and she's not shaking her ass for it which has the strippers now upset.  A bartender has now started a fundraiser against her because she's right - Joy's coming into her business and putting her down and interfering with her job.  That bartender is not taking anything off and Joy's interfering in her tips. You don't see AA going into bars - it's not outreach.  It's undercutting other make-up artists and salon owners and another bake shop owner.   I had offered to sit down and help and work with her when she swept into town and she didn't want to talk to me for this reason.  Keep it up Joy and you might find a restraining order like some of the club owners are doing against women like you in other cities.  It doesn't work.   I did research on "faith based" outreach when I started SWA 30 years ago and IT DOESN'T WORK.  Look back behind you - and for sex workers the odds are against it working. You want to evangalize - evangalize.  You want to promote your business - promote your business.   But stop ceiling it "trafficking" because you want a grant when you don't know what you're doing!  Now you got women thinking they can't get jobs outside of stripping and they aren't even trying?  Do you know how hard that's going to be to undo?

I see your group's fund raising.  What I don't see if a hotline that these women can call and get help they can't get for themselves.  What I don't see is help for those who need help.  What i don't see is help for those who can't get it elsewhere.  

I want you to think about the typical types of calls I get - about every Friday night I get a call like this:  a woman has told her pimp she's pregnant and she wants to quit.  He's thrown her out of a moving car at 75 mph on the highway.  She has nothing and one shoe left on her foot from the fall. She's calling me collect from a payphone.   She's going to have to be checked out by a doctor and then a place to sleep for th night.   It's now 1:00 a.m.  Everyone is closed and closed for the weekend.  She no money and no ID and no family.   She's over past Lake Mead meaning there's not even a bus she can try and talk her way onto.   If she wanted to testify against the pimp she doesn't know where he's at now. 

That's the kind of call I get every Friday and frankly I'm tired of handling these calls alone.  They get onto their smart phones and they call until someone answers.  I answer.

I usually get her a place to sleep for the night and then on Saturday morning everyone is out at fund raisers, walkathons, showing a film, or who knows because I can't reach anyone.  From what I've seen all of you have raised a nice chunk of money.  

You know what I've raised this year, and last year?  Nothing.   

Now I imagine you talk to a lot of people.  The name of the game is HOW MANY ARE YOU GETTING OUT.  That's what I want to know. 

And when I get a woman telling me a cop is pimping her - I want to know where to report that.  

Now these are points I wanted to bring up at the October meeting but I got told it was "postponed".  It's now January and I haven't heard of a new meeting.  Okay, Congo Justice, please forward this to anyone else running groups now in Nevada please.

Because each time the money runs out or the bill gets passed - a whole bunch of you leave.  Only I'm still here, still answering the phone, and still working with these men and women.    

And right now there's an even harder problem because I've been getting calls from cops for about two years now advising me they want to help the prostitute but each time they've tried to give them my phone number - they get their job threatened.  Why?  

Because they've been trying to cover this up that's why.   http://lasvegastribune.net/clark-county-court-patricia-doninger-youre-fire/ Okay here's the catch-22.  They tell everyone from the staff, to the clerks, to the probation officers, the cops, the social workers, etc. they tell them "don't refer anyone to Sex Workers Anonymous - don't do anything".  Then when they "don't do anything" they still get fired.

Do you know another reaso why they tell them "don't refer them to SWA?"  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas-psychiatric-clinic-closes-under-federal-pressure  Because this center was not licensed for months.  Why?  Because they had an apartment building full of prostitutes they were giving experimental medications to that were "off label" that Medicaid was refusing to pay for.  When I went to ask why someone with PTSD was on an epileptic medication - not only was the clinic shut down the next day but everyone was thrown out of the apartment on th next day.  So the prostitutes in the jail and the mental health system were being experimented on and used like lab rents.  That wasn't the first time I found them doing this either.

So when someone is scared and shutting us out because we're trying to take care of these women - then maybe it's because they're hiding something - http://www.laweekly.com/news/a-drug-rehab-mogul-built-an-empire-that-s-now-being-probed-by-the-fbi-da-and-state-of-california-6390686  

Trust me - there's a lot of ways that men prey upon these women. And pimps aren't the only ones.  They're coming to us for help to get out - meaning sometimes we have to protect them from cops, doctors, therapists costs, etc.

The task force is receiving money to create a TASK FORCE not to arrest pimps - but to find help for these women. Now arresting two pimps last year was great - but it's not good enough.  I haven't run the numbers yet - but off hand I think we processed over 400 calls from Nevada and 200 calls from Californiia.  I haven't figured out the rest.  I know I got about 20 from from Miami and another 50 from Atlanta.    When I figure out how many we helped to get out from sex work.

Now if we can't get it together enough to sit down and figure out a system to help these women - then what are the people who are giving you money getting for their buck?  The Son of God taught us to be servants when He washed His disciples feet.  So you tell me - what can I do to get something going to where I can get more help to these men and women in Nevada?

Jody Williams
(702) 468-4529

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