Search This Blog

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

NEVADA, SEX TRAFFICKING, LEGAL BROTHELS & SHARNEL SILVEY

I moved to Nevada in April of 1996.  I had been getting these horrible phone calls from Nevada since 1988 and was feeling powerless for many of these calls.  Let me give you an idea why.

Reno and Carson City are on the northern end of Nevada.  Las Vegas is on the southern or opposite end of the state.  Pahrump is one hour outside of Las Vegas.  There is only one highway that goes from one end of the state to the other.

Up to 2012, there was no Greyhound bus line that would go from one end of the state to the other.  Meaning if you wanted to go from Las Vegas to Reno before 2012, and didn't have a car you were just out of luck.  Take a look at a Nevada map to see what I mean by how the state is laid out.


There are strip clubs in the Las Vegas area, along with a lot of massage parlors, and the same for Carson City and Reno area.  But the smaller towns in between like Beatty and Goldfield - they're very small towns.   Now take a look on the map at where the Bunny Ranch Dennis Hof owns is with respect to Carson City.  The Bunny Ranch is a THREE 1/2 hour drive from Las Vegas and an EIGHT HOUR from Reno.  


Then take a look at where the Mustang Ranch is 20 minutes outside of Reno on this map.


Here's where you can really visualize what it's like in Nevada to drive to these legal brothels on Google Maps.   Twenty minutes doesn't sound like a lot but when you're driving it down a dark highway - it feels like forever! https://www.google.com/maps/place/World+Famous+Mustang+Ranch/@39.5439694,-119.5574578,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x8099225f746c934d:0x275b77de4045461a  You can go into Google Maps and type in their address, and actually look around from a 360 degree angle to see photographically what you'd see driving in and out of these brothels into the middle of a dirt highway.   Then imagine it at night.  

Now many brothels have shut down like the Shady Lady for example.  Here's a map of where there are existing brothels as of 2016.   Which keep in mind is even fewer than Nevada had years ago before the 2008 economic crash.  


Brothels are allowed to operate in Nevada in Lyon County, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_brothels_in_Nevada, Lander, Humboldt, Mineral, Nye, Storey, White Pine and Elko County.  There were no legal brothels in Nevada before 1971 either.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustang_Ranch  As far as I know, there is no other state but Nevada that has legal brothels.  While some states have areas where it's not illegal such as Rhode Island for a while allowed it to operate behind closed doors.  

The legal age of consent for sex in Nevada is 16 years old - and one can apply for a license to work in these brothels as a legal prostitute at 18 years of age also in some counties like Lyon.    Some counties require that you have to be 21 years old.  The laws have changed and at one time you could be over 16 to be licensed as a brothel prostitute.  When the child trafficking law was passed  in 2013 http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/nevada-movement-draws-line-human-trafficking  - that's when the brothel license had to elevate their legal age to 18 years of age. http://prostitution.procon.org/sourcefiles/LyonCountyTitle5Chap3Prostitution.pdf

Another fact not commonly known is that some brothels in Nevada have built-in strip clubs.  To work as a dancer in the club, one only needs a work and sheriff's card.  You can be younger than 18 years old to get a work and sheriff's card.  NRS 609.210 has an exception "unless the minor is in the casino area to provide entertainment pursuant to an employment contract".  Meaning they can work as an entertainer with a "contract" under 18 years of age.   

In fact, in 2014 the court ruled that stripping is a "job".  Because it's a "legal job", therefore one can get a work permit to work a "job" under 18 years of age with special work permits in Nevada.  
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2815137/Nevada-court-says-Strip-club-dancers-employees.html  To get the exception to work there under 18 years of age - the "sale of alcohol can't be the primary business".  Which of course in a brothel/strip club the service of alcohol is not "primary". 

Meaning that when we've heard women talk about 16 year old's working in the strip clubs literally in the same building as the brothel - yes it's legal in Nevada.  How?  Because the strip club is in the brothel where the "primary business" is the brothel so the sale of alcohol in that club is "secondary".  Meaning that yes it's legal for a 16 year old to be stripping in that strip club literally in the same building as the brothel.  Which in some cases is separated by only a few steps.  

* Note - you can't get a license to work in a brothel with a past record for conviction on a prostitution charge.  The Cupcake Girls and  Nevada Speaker of the House, John Hambrick, made a claim that "strippers were not able to find work because of a prostitution conviction and/or they weren't able to expunge their records for a prostitution arrest.  

Based on this claim - this law was passed by their efforts in 2013. https://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/78th2015/Minutes/Senate/JUD/Final/1207.pdf.  It states basically that "if you can prove to a judge you were trafficked that judge can expunge your records".  Okay let's use some common sense here.  If you could prove you were trafficked when you were in court the first time - YOU WOULDN'T HAVE A PROSTITUTION CONVICTION.  

The thing is, Joy Hoover had a volunteer working with her organization  when she lobbyied for this law who was working as a secretary at another company than Cupcake Girls with a past record so she KNEW that it does NOT block one from finding work in Nevada.  Here's a website showing the names of companies in Nevada who hire FELONS.  https://xamire.com/felons-jobs/nevada  So those companies will not give one twit about a solicitation charge which is a misdemeanor.  The Urban League gets felons work - http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/las-vegas-urban-league-helps-put-felons-back-work  This is a list of temp agencies that hire felons - http://local.survivalinsight.com/Felon_Friendly_Employers_Las_Vegas_NV-p1709545-Las_Vegas_NV.html  I have a list of companies who regularly hire men and women with prostitution records, even more than one conviction.  However, they don't like advertising this fact and I respect their wishes not to publish this list online.  It's not exactly great PR to shout you shout you hire ex-hookers and felons.   But since 1996, I've had no problems with ex-sex workers finding work of any kind in Nevada with a past solicitation conviction.  

As for expungement, we've also had no problem with that either.  We've prepared a file where we've asked the court to review the person's employment record, their rent receipts, along with medical records if there was completed drug treatment and therapy, and letters of recommendation if they did volunteer work, joined a local church, their landlord or boss, etc.  We've also gone into court with the member explaining to the judge not only how this person has changed their life, but how their record is hindering them from that new life.  For example, if they want to obtain a real estate license to sell houses or mortgages - then the record needs to be expunged, or we need approval for them to have an exception, so they can get licensing to find work.  We've been approved on every case we've gone to court requesting expungement, or a license exception for work, without having to retain an attorney where the average retainer is $1500-2500.  

Under the new law that John Hambrick and Cupcake Girls passed with this false claim showing they are actively LYING to sex workers by telling them their records will hold them back from taking other types of jobs, or obtaining other licenses for work, basically now any judge can sign to have their record expunged NOT based on proof they've left the sex industry - but instead based on what that judge considers "proof of trafficking" provided to them.  This will allow that person to obtain a license to work in the brothels.  

Clever.  What a clever way to get a prostitution charge removed from your record without that silly old way we used to do it in the courts by going in with a minimum of a year's worth of records proving they were now out of the sex industry, and/or needed an expungment to obtain a license to work such as a real estate license.   I mean if they told voters and politicians that this was so a convicted prostitute could get a brothel license I doubt it would have passed.  

Why do I make that accusation?  Because the premise is a lie they based this whole law passing on that's why.  Getting the right judge in Nevada to expunge records won't be hard.  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/constable-shred-investigation-porn-star-searches  I had a judge sign a warrant claiming I had "impersonated" myself when I used my own debit card with my name on it to buy a burger.  Yep.  Not kidding.  The police came in and took my debit cards, my checkbook, and then made me come in and "prove" that I was myself in order to get them back!  BTW - the Bonaventura's are very close http://lasvegassun.com/news/2001/aug/03/former-constable-bonaventura-dies/  The constable  Bonaventura was the brother of the judge Bonaventura who is the father of the Assemblyman Bonaventura.    Makes you wonder what this Bonaventura was doing illegal searches on porn performers for doesn't it?

Okay now back to Nevada and our work there.  I wanted you to get a visual eye for how Nevada is laid out for one.  Then to see how the brothels and strip clubs are scattered all over the state.  Imagine how you can't get on a bus to get from one end of the state to the other also.   Now the two main shelters in Nevada for a prostitute in trouble would be the Shadetree for women and the Salvation Army shelters which are both in Las Vegas.  Which as you can see by the map is hours  and hours away for someone who is on the northern end of Nevada or even in Pahrump or Mound.  

There are no cab companies in the towns where there's legal brothels either.  The zoning is set up for the legal brothels so that there's no other businesses within so many feet of them either.   Even if there was, there are laws in each county that restrict whether you can leave the brothel and walk down the street at all, with some counties saying you can walk out on foot, but you have a "curfew"  to be back in the brothel by 9 pm.  All of them have a 48 hour restriction when you first come to work at the brothel while waiting on your HIV/AIDS test results.  So literally the first day you walk into the brothel at maybe 18 years of age (or younger if you're there as a dancer), you can't walk out again for 48 hours!  Even you could - where would you go for a ride out of there with no cabs in the town?  

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stopsextrafficktalk/2013/07/08/hear-from-a-nevada-brothel-prostitute  This is an interview with a woman who we helped get out of the legal brothels in Nevada in 2012.  Let her describe what the conditions are like up there for her - talking about being raped daily by a police officer who was coming to supposedly pick up HIV/AIDS test results weekly.   Why didn't you hear about this?

Ironically when we went to file a complaint against the man, we were told to "file it with the Police Chief".  That was the instructions that appeared on the website for Reno also - to "file it with the Chief of Police".  The Chief was that same man she told us was raping her when he'd come to pick up the test results!  We asked for Internal Affairs for the Reno police station and were told there was none in 2012.   In 2012 and 2013 - there was no Internal Affairs office for Reno. 

I remember clearly going to try and file a complaint against this officer in Reno because she reported he was not taking in the HIV/AIDS test results into the lab.  This poses a threat to public safety.  We were told that this was the policy and there's no way she was going to walk into that police station to face him to file a report.  I also know what the website said in 2012 when we went to look into filing a complaint.  However, when I went to take a screen shot of their page to show this - I found the site had changed.  It now reads there IS an Internal Affairs.  I found that quite interesting. http://www.reno.gov/home/showdocument?id=26107 In fact, in looking at the only report that appears on their site - it's dated 2014.  It also reads on the report that it's for 2010 to 2014.  

I then found a document claiming that an "Internal Affairs" had actually been in existence in Nevada since the 1980's I've never seen before in google searches.  I found that interesting and wanted to see the reports for pre-2010.  I also wanted to see who was in charge in 2012 when we originally went to make the report.   Look at what I found!  A bunch of news listings on Google about a man who was "instructed to lie to Internal Affairs in Reno" but when you click on the news articles - there's nothing there!




But I kept digging and voila!  I found one article that hadn't been taken down about this "lying to Internal Affairs".  Evidently "mynews4" has removed everything about this but I found the Wisconsin Gazette paper that had published something.  http://www.wisconsingazette.com/breaking-news/reno-police-chief-hires-investigator-for-sex-harassment-case.html  Seems that officer James Steigmaier had tried to file a report to Internal Affairs and other officers supposedly responded by threatening him and "discrediting him".  Oh Jim how well I know how those shoes fit!  Ever since we started trying to file complaints against officers who were abusing women in some fashion either through rape, trafficking, violence, corruption - Nevada officers and politicians have been doing a real good job of "discrediting" me also.  Lovely things like refusing to take a police report when my front door was kicked in on the claim I "did it myself for attention".  That sort of thing.  As for my accusations that the media can't be trusted in Nevada - well explain to me where the articles went in Nevada on this issue and why the only one I can find is a paper in Wisconsin?  

So you have an idea that when I'm getting calls for help to "come get me out of here" then I'm looking at literally physically if I'm not in the same town as that person making the call then there's going to be a problem.  In other states, if I get a call from a woman who has just been beat up and left by her pimp in the middle of the street somewhere I can call the local police in other cities if I don't know of anyone and ask them to help me get her to help and they'll respond.  But not in Nevada in the 1980's and 90's.  Oh no.  

Nor could I tell them to "get in a cab" or "hop on a bus" or even "get on a shuttle to the airport" because they don't exist near any of the legal brothels and some of the strip clubs which are inside of the brothels.  If you read about Joe Conforte's past, he shot a famous boxer dead in cold blood IN FRONT OF A COP and didn't serve on day in jail!  Meaning that when I was outside of Nevada and I'd call the local police to help me get a woman in trouble from point A to the bus station or airport to get her out of there - I'd have the cops tell me to go fly a kite because some of them were on Joe's payroll.  Even the guy that took the fall for Joe was sentenced to "life" and then was released a few years later when the press died down.  

Now you have an idea why I decided to move to Las Vegas in April of 1996.  My mother and grandmother moved there in 1994 after the Sherman Oaks earthquake had destroyed all of our homes.  We all lived in the same apartment building on Coldwater Canyon in 1994.  When the earthquake leveled our homes - I got married and moved to Nebraska.  My mom and grandmother went to Las Vegas.  So I shut down my business, canceled my radio program that was #2 in three states rating wise when I did this (second only to Husker football), sold our rental properties, and we moved to Las Vegas at first to be where my mom and grandmother were and so my mom could help also.  

After we got there - then when I would get calls "please help me" I'd be able to hop into the car and go and get them to help.  The drives to Pahrump from Las Vegas wasn't bad - but the drive or flight to Carson City, Reno, was a whole other story!  

Come meet Sharnel Silvey.  http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-04-12-brothel_x.htm  She used to manage the Mustang Ranch.  I was not the only one to want Joe out of the brothel business with the way he was abusing the women working there.  But technically what he was doing was legal.  Anything not legal everyone was too scared to file a complaint.  ESPECIALLY after he shot the boxer dead and nothing happened to him.  If you saw the movie based on him with Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren you'd know that Joe ruled his kingdom.  The women I'd help get away from him were severely traumatized and there just was no way to file any charges against the man.  

Realize there was no Internal Affairs in Reno until 2012 (supposedly), and the man who used to come pick up the HIV/AIDS test results weekly I was told was the same man as the Chief of Police there in Reno for a very long time also.  The only thing I could think of was how they got Al Capone.  So I called the IRS to file a complaint against Joe knowing he didn't keep honest books.  Guys like that don't.  Sharnel helped things along by "accidentally" leaving the wrong set of books out the IRS found she told me and they found them.   She wanted out of there also but knew she'd never be able to be free until Joe was out of there first.  As you can see by that article, Sharnel still had a close relationship with the other working girls in 2003 despite the fact she was now out of prostitution, clean and sober, and attending a small church in northern Nevada which I won't name.  

But after Sharnel left the sex industry, and did get clean, I was able to call upon her for help when we needed someone picked up on the northern end of Nevada.   She knew the other women working at the other brothels were being kept sheltered by having to live on the premises, and by their pimps.  Many were even kept from watching TV and many weren't allowed to read magazines even.  If you were on duty - you'd actually be penalized for reading because you had to "be ready" to do a line-up at the drop of a hat during your shift.  The Review Journal wasn't writing up any articles on our program or hotline - so how do we get help to these women when they're on the brothel grounds 99.99 percent of the time with the pimps, the madams, and the brothel owners, as well as men like Kemp Shiffer running around with his IRS badge.  

How did Kemp operate for 12 years without being arrested?  Kemp was a retired police officer who became an IRS agent.  He then was one of the agents who took over "management" of the Mustang when Joe fled the country.  Knowing the legal age of consent for sex is 16 in Nevada, but 18 in California, Kemp would hop over to the Oakland area of California, hook himself up with some young girls in foster homes, group homes, with step-parents, or even a horrible mother, and talk about how they could come work as a waitress in the restaurant legally in the brothel.  Using his badge and that he was an ex-cop - people trusted him.  

At 16 years old, this girl would then get a special work permit to work as a waitress in the restaurant.  That would get her inside the brothel and used to the people, the customers, the building, etc.  From working as a waitress, she would then be befriended by the other women who would teach her how to dance for more money.  Then once she turned 18 years of age - no problem getting the brothel license and by then she's worked there for two years.  That's why the IRS fired him but couldn't arrest him.  I mean why does an ex-cop and ex-IRS agent go and become an accounting professor at University of Reno?  To get access to young college girls that's why!  After 12 years of getting really cocky - he then finally did step over the line and he only gets TWO YEARS?  Really?  

Anyway, I didn't want to file a 501c3 nonprofit for Sex Workers Anonymous.  If I did, then I'm open for auditing by the IRS.  I'll give you three guesses why I didn't want to open myself up for an audit by the IRS while I'm in Nevada and butting heads with Kemp Shiffer!   But we want to set up an alternative sentencing program in Nevada like I'd done in Los Angeles in 1987 and in Allentown in 1989.  To do that however, we need a nonprofit.  In Allentown, we formed the "Program for Female Offenders" and that was our nonprofit.  So Sharnel and I are wondering what we're going to do on this point.  That's when she said she could get her church to help her form "A Scarlet Covering" as a 501c3.

Now her outreach into the brothels was brilliant.  She would get these roses and put  the hotline phone number on the inside of the wrapping for the individual roses.  Then she'd go up to the brothels by trading on the fact most of the madams knew her on sight and by name so they'd talk to her.  Sharnel would then say she "wanted to give them a rose and tell them Jesus loves them" and she'd start Bible thumping.  

Well - that would get the madam, or the owner, or the pimp to walk away and leave her alone with the prostitute!  They figured she was "harmless" and just talking "Bible stuff" and so they'd tune her out.  That's when she'd tell them "if you ever want help to get out of here - the phone number is inside the rose where they don't know where it is to take it from you".  Remember, these women aren't walking around with a laptop or a yellow pages.  

Once she did that - the phones' ringing off the hook.  Especially those who got busted or sick and lost their brothel license.  What most would do then is just go up to Carson City/Reno area and prostitute on the streets.  Also, the young girls waiting to turn legal age would come up from California and hook in the red light districts of northern Nevada.   Pretty soon what this means is our hotline is getting an equal amount of calls from both ends of the state!   But with Sharnel, and members of her church up there on the northern end of Nevada, and me covering the southern end of Nevada - we've got the state pretty well covered.

You can read here Sharnel has got herself a job working "for friends taking care of their elderly father for $300 a week".  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/ex-prostitutes-walk-tough-road-economic-freedom-amid-recession  and that she's doing  lot of outreach now to prostitutes.  See us mentioned?  Nope.  We wanted it that way also because the ones she'd come across that needed to get away from their pimp or traffickers we didn't want them to know Sharnel was getting them into the front door, and I was taking them out the back door.  

By 2009, using "A Scarlet Covering" as the 501c3 nonprofit we needed to approach the court - the first alternative to sentencing program was founded in Nevada.  Sharnel was even doing out reach with the Reno Street Enforcement Teach http://archive.rgj.com/article/20091101/LIV/911010301/Helping-hookers-Former-madam-leads-efforts-assist-prostitutes  The plan was to run this program for about two years - then after setting a great record we were going to expand the program across the whole state and into Clark County (Las Vegas).  Here's a report on the program - http://ag.nv.gov/uploadedFiles/agnvgov/Content/Hot_Topics/Victims/Final_Report_February_2011.pd

But remember when you're reading this - 2009 was still when there were powerful men trying to get the Nevada legislature to approve expanding the legal brothels into downtown Las Vegas.  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/nevada-legislature/prostitution-bill-not-nevada-legislatures-agenda  Read what it says on here very very carefully.  It says "not on the agenda".  I have a tape of the proceedings if you'd like to see them.   On February 18, 2013, there were 45 "abolition" groups who went to the Nevada legislature to "support AB67" which was a sex trafficking bill.  SWOP and SWA were the only two groups who opposed AB67.  

After the hearing for AB67 was over in the morning  - all those "abolitionists" went home.  They refused to stay and go in with us to that "back room hearing" that wasn't listed on the calendar where George Flint, the Brothel Association Lobbyist tried to convince them to let the brothels expand into Las Vegas.  Aubrey, the woman in the interview above, got up by herself and told the legislators what it was like inside those brothels for the women from her "first hand experience".  She also read a letter from other Nevada survivors on what we'd like to see done to change things to help us.  To their credit, the legislature turned down their bid and the Mob Museum now sits where they had once wanted to build legal brothels.  So we won!  

I want you to see that in 2009 when the alternative sentencing program was created in Nevada - there were very large powers that were also wanting to expand the legal brothels geographical area of operation into Las Vegas where we also had our sights set on expanding our program to help prostitutes.   Some of those people were the brothel owners, the owners of the Review Journal, the then mayor Oscar Goodman, some men from the Cashman family (who called to threaten me and try to scare me out of Nevada saying they'd "been there longer than me"), Lance Gilman, Joe Richards, Heidi Fleiss, even Gene Simmons was considering becoming an "investor" in the "magnificent brothels" that Oscar was promoting around the world to try and get this passed.   Lance Gilman, current owner of the Mustang Ranch, is also an adviser to governor Brian Sandoval, and the head of the Nevada Board of Economic Development.  A board that includes just about every major business in Nevada such as Cox Cable, Nevada Power, the Review Journal, and a lot of other large Nevada corporations.  That's who we were up against folks!  You can read the clips about all of this at www.hightechmadam.com

Now remember that "elderly gentlemen" she was caring for now as her job for $300 a week?  He had cancer.  The man also felt grateful she was caring for him because there were no other CNA's anywhere within driving distance to his home.   So guess what?  He told her that "after his death he wanted her to go out and buy herself some new clothes".   She did.  Sharnel took and used the card he told her to use to buy what he told her to buy before he died.  Only after she did this, I remember she got a phone call from Joe in Brazil.  He had sent her an expensive piece of jewelry also.  

I asked her what was up and she told me he had asked her to come down there to help him "run women" with him there where it's legal.  She turned him down and told him about what we were doing in Nevada - and our plans to expand it into Las Vegas and the whole state soon.  Well after the old man was dead and buried - the family suddenly out of left field presses charges against her for theft.  There unfortunately was no written Will to prove what he'd told her before he died and Sharnel was charged not just with theft, but with "elder abuse" as well.  She got five years.  http://www.kolotv.com/home/headlines/96102589.html  I can't help but wonder why her "friends" would turn against her like that.  I feel even more so it was a set-up because of the way the media changed after her arrest.  Before if you google'd her name - you'd see one article after the other about her work helping prostitutes in Nevada.  After the arrest - it was "elder abuse" and "thief" and just one smear after another without me being able to find one of the other articles about her work to balance out the reports on her arrest.  It looked like the media was trying to make it so that's all you saw when you went to read the story - that she was some kind of monster.  

Contrast that this was her first offense, it was a misunderstanding  (or a frame-up depending upon how you look at it), and she received five years with no shortening of her sentence or time off for good behavior because it was "elder abuse".  While Kemp Shiffer got TWO YEARS.  TWO! https://www.fbi.gov/lasvegas/press-releases/2012/retired-irs-agent-sentenced-to-two-years-in-prison-for-transporting-woman-into-nevada-for-prostitution  

I mean what's wrong with this court system in Nevada and their values.  I warned Sharnel walking into the court to get an attorney.  She kept insisting to me that "because of her work with the prostitutes" and her "friendship with the family" that she'd "just explain it to the judge and it will be dismissed".  I warned her I thought it was a frame-up to shut down our program and plans and to get an attorney.  They did not give her another date to pass sentence, nor any time to manage her affairs.  They literally took her right out of the court room and into prison for five years!

I remember how massive of a shock it was because no one was prepared.  We had no keys to the building where the meetings were being held - she had them.  We didn't have any of the passcodes for the email, or the voicemail on the phone - and calls and emails were just going unanswered because we had no idea how to pull up the messages.   She was also taken into prison where I was told I couldn't visit her without being put on the list first.  Which how am I supposed to reach her to tell her to put me on the list when I can't visit her?  I got nothing but the runaround every time I called the prison to try and get in to visit her to get the codes for the records, the phones, the emails, the website, etc.   I sent her more than one letter that came back claiming I hadn't "addressed it properly" or "inmate has moved" or some other excuse.  

What I can talk about now I couldn't talk about back then to anyone was our "Tonopah Station" as I used to call it.  When you're getting calls from women all over the state who are calling you flat broke, no ID cards, no cars, no place to live, and maybe not even shoes on their feet because they've been thrown out of a moving car, or they've been shot five times in the back with a 9mm because of running away from their pimp - I mean what do you do?  

I wasn't going to form a 501c3 and get our donors harassed by the IRS or stalled like the Tea Party was stalled for years from even being approved.  I didn't want our members files to be public record either.   You need a nonprofit to hold fund raisers and grants.  Sharnel was using "A Scarlet Covering" to run the alternative sentencing program.  We needed to be able to have a place to put women that couldn't be found.  Not by ex-cops private investigators like Chris Butler, or constables like John Bonaventura, or men with access to the Governor like Lance Gilman.  

Welcome to Tonopah.  We met a man who owned just about everything in Tonopah at one time.  He owned the Clown Motel, a bunch of apartments, the little casino in town, the thrift store that sold clothing and furniture, and also he sold used cars on payments to people who had bad credit or needed a break.   The motel even served breakfast to tenants.  

So guess what we could do?  We could literally show up at the motel at 2:00 a.m. with a banged up woman and get her into a room without any questions asked or needing any money.  In the morning, she'd have a continental breakfast.  Truckers stay at the motel and if we needed to get her out of state - the morning in the parking lot we could get her into the cab of one of those trucks and to wherever she needed to go courtesy of the wonderful truckers.   

If not, we'd call the Pahrump social worker.  Because it's a tiny office - the worker would come right out with a bag of food, a check, a medical pending slip, a housing voucher, and a coupon good for furniture and clothing to set up a new house.   If she needed to apply for SSI disability - the worker would help her fill it out .  If not, and she needed to work - she'd be hired at the motel, the casino, the thrift store, or wherever they needed someone to work.  Then this patron saint would take those vouchers and move her into an apartment, get her some furniture, some clothing, and even get her a car on payments she could afford.  He didn't do it for charity now really.  He got paid because our program does believe in the 7th tradition.  But he worked with us to accept those payments and vouchers, and to break things down to where we could get her in and set up considering the situation. 

There was a psychiatrist who was based out of Pahrump who would come up to the jail once a week and he'd see anyone who needed anti-anxiety medication or psychiatric medications.  The man who owned the hospital and ER in town also owned the town nursing home.  So if they were banged up pretty bad - we could also take her into the ER and then they'd keep her until she was well enough to be on her own.  Came in handy if she needed drug treatment because then her medical records showed she was in a nursing home not a drug treatment program.  Important to have if you don't want your medical records to say you've been in drug treatment.  It also allowed us to move her around from room to room if there was someone looking for her to keep her safe.  

We had a therapist who specialized in PTSD and working with prostitutes who would do weekly therapy via skype.  We'd have weekly meetings at the local bookstore in town which was across the street from everything - the motel, the casino, the apartments, etc.   They also had NA and AA meetings there.  If she didn't have a computer for her skype therapy sessions - the bookstore would let her use their computer and a back room.  

Then once they were on their feet, stable, healthy and wanted to move on out of Tonopah - they could either hit Carson City with Sharnel or Las Vegas.  If they wanted to go further - they again could hitch a ride with a trucker or they'd have the car paid off by then to drive themselves.   We had a little assembly line of recovery going by then.  There's a lot of retired veterans who live in Tonopah and would go to the AA meetings.  If I needed help to go pick up someone calling for help in Pahrump, Vegas, Mound, Reno, Lake Takoe, I could get one of the volunteers to go or even ask one of the truckers to pop on a passenger for us with "mum's" the word.  Some drivers would drive up and down the state almost daily - so we had regular truckers even we could count on to pop a woman into a truck and bring her to safety.   

(PS - after Truckers Against Trafficking came to pass we have trouble getting rides from truckers anymore for victims.  Now I spend time arguing with them telling me "call the national trafficking hotline for help" and they walk away.  The few I get to call the hotline themselves to learn that's not going to get a woman from Storey County into a program in Las Vegas who has no money - take me an extra hour to convince them to call and then convince them we're not going to get them in trouble with their boss.  We're just on the "down low" as they are about it.  Seems they have trouble understanding no matter what the program may be in Nevada - no one transports the woman there and we have to get her there!)

As for those under 18 years of age - up until Judge Voy opened his courtroom we'd take them to a bus station or airport and www.childrenofthenight.org would fly them out to them.   Only after Judge Voy took over and opened courtroom 12 - he had other plans.  Before, social workers, police, probation officers, would call me when they had a minor on their hands who needed to get away from a pimp.  I had one girl who actually stabbed her pimp to death and needed to get out of Vegas before his associates came looking for her.  With her, her probation officer brought her to my house where I then got her to the airport and then to Children of the Night.  

I had another case where the father was pimping both the mother and all of his four daughters.  The mother thought the only way out was to kill her daughters, and then herself, so she had drugged the girls and then tried to kill herself.  She didn't do it right and everyone wound up in the hospital.   The eldest teenager daughter when she woke up grabbed the other girls and came to my house for refuge.  I had the father banging on the door demanding I return them.  I took them out the back and put them on a bus to Children of the Night and they're all fine now.  One graduated college, and the other is married with two kids now.  

Now in 2007 - I had given a press conference about how sex trafficking was real in the legal sex industries of Nevada.  I have clips at www.hightechmadam.com about this international press conference.  Judge Voy was aware of the press conference - so he knew we were operating in Nevada in 2007.  So it's not like no one knew who I was in Las Vegas in 2008 when Judge Voy decided a better approach to teen prostitution was to not give them to us, not give them to Children of the Night, but to instead lock them up in jail.  http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/judge-touts-safe-house-kids-ensnared-prostitution   BTW - he admitted in print he had locked up girls WITHOUT there being a criminal charge because he was "worried" they "might work the streets".  I'm sorry but isn't there a law about "habeas corpus" or something about you can't "deny someone their freedom without due process"?  

He then starts parading these teens in jail around to the press while asking for $2,000,000 to open his own residential 14 bed program.  Mind you - he sees 14 girls at least a week in his courtroom.  Having 14 beds wasn't going to even put a dent in being enough IF you could get those girls to stay in a locked down facility.   The only way would be to arrest them and then force them to stay.  This lock-down program also takes them out of school, and away from any good friends and family they have, a local church program, and certain away from other survivors in recovery.  

Meaning in 2008, suddenly I have a judge who has decided instead of getting these girls into existing help he's going to parade them around while asking for money like they do with abused animals to get money donated to the ASPCA.   Oh I forgot - an operating budget yearly of $649,000.  Where is that going to come from?  This was the "better solution" than the existing one we had which wasn't costing the state a penny.  For those sent to Children of the Night - Nevada never paid one penny for their transportation or their housing. Those who came to us - same thing.  We never charge for what we do.   But after Judge Voy opened courtroom 12 - every social worker, probation officer, and cop was told by him and by the mayor Oscar Goodman that "if you even read the report Jody Williams and Melissa Farley have written - you'll be fired" in 2007.

Shame.  Maybe if Andrea Swanson's husband had read the report in 2007 their own daughter might not have fallen prey to a pimp that she spoke about at the hearings for AB67 in 2013.   I say that because her husband was in law enforcement and thus one of the men threatened with being fired if they even spoke to me, let alone read our report, about how sex trafficking operates in Nevada, and what you can do to pull your kid out of it written not by law enforcement - but by someone who has been working with this community since 1984 overall and in Nevada since 1996.

What ever happened to "station Tonopah"?  First we started noticing a lot of zoning violations.  I remember the parking lot had to be repaved.  Then roofs had to be redone.  The electrical systems had to be upgraded in all the buildings.  The propane tanks had to be moved further back and 10 feet off the ground.  Then one apartment complex was divided into two counties.  Meaning that suddenly there was two zoning inspectors from two counties out for the same buildings!  One of the judges for the Goldfield county was an hour drive away!   Doesn't sound that hard until you realize how expensive it is to get any licensed contractors out to Tonopah!   Anyone licensed was either in Vegas or Carson City and thus an arm and a leg just to get an estimate done.   Then to bring in equipment like to pour the cement and tar in the parking lot?  Another arm and a leg.   But this man kept rolling with all these zoning violations.   He told us they hadn't bothered him before - but boy were they coming now!

When that didn't seem to deter him from helping us - a fire broke out and almost burned down one whole apartment complex.  He had to redo the  whole roof he'd just installed in one whole building and it cost him $10,000.  I don't think we thought it had anything to do with us - until the police came out and told him it was going to keep up until he kicked all of us out of his buildings.   He refused and came and told me about it.  Told me he wasn't going to stop helping us and that God had made him wealthy so he could help us.   I think he was fine until his wife died actually.  After his wife died, and they kept up with the threats and the zoning citations, he came and told me that one cop had been pushing on him really hard to "throw me out in the street".  He said he wouldn't but he was getting worried this cop was sounding desperate like he might trying something else if I didn't leave town and get out from this guy's radar. 

Sure enough the next day was when I had five cops and a drug dog at my house with a warrant claiming I was "impersonating Jody Williams".  They tossed my house for hours, and then took all my banking cards, checks, checkbook, etc.  Told me I had to "go to court to prove it was mine".  Then after tossing my apartment one of the cops called CPS.  Said the unit was "uninhabitable" and that my child should be removed.  Thankfully the CPS agent laughed and told me "you have four hours to clean the apartment" which wasn't easy with my disabilities but I did it.  

Then when they came back to a clean apartment - I could see he was angry.  Even angrier he couldn't find any drugs to arrest me over.  He asked to "speak with me inside" and that was out of the security camera view so I refused.  He could say I attacked him or anything so I told him no.  Then he got really angry and said "I'll be back".  I didn't like the sound of that one bit - so I literally packed up and we all hauled out of there that night.  I wasn't going to find out what he had in mind when he came back.

After we left, our volunteers started being stalked and threatened.  One man had his apartment robbed and the stress caused him to have a heart attack.  One man was so cared he left town and another left the country he was so scared!  He was getting calls from a NY number with threats that really scared him.   This owner also started getting threats and stalked.  Then someone lit a fire in one of his buildings.  Someone set fire to the storage units.  I remember he told me about  a lot of fires and that's when he said with his wife gone he just wanted to "go be old and quiet somewhere now".  I understood.  He sold all the buildings and did just that - retired.  We got a lot of women out of the sex industry, and away from their pimps, because of Sharnel, this man, and those volunteers.  

The therapist got some kind of slap on the wrist for doing the therapy session on skype, but then the county turned around and started doing the same thing.  The social worker who helped us was fired.  The hospital owner had a bogus lawsuit and complaint filed against him so he sold the property.  Basically everyone got harassed, stalked, threatened, and attacked until they stopped helping.  

I moved down to Vegas in 2009 right after Jeane Palfrey, the DC Madam, was murdered.  I rented a house from someone so everything was in his name and I couldn't be traced easily.   He was approached by some "friend" in Metro and next thing I know he's accusing me of stealing furniture in the house I was paying for along with the rent.  I had the contract and receipts showing that I had paid for the furniture I took with me when I moved out after he physically threatened my daughter.  We moved out a week after he tried to attack my daughter for some crazy reason and her dog stopped his attack (what a great dog!).  

That's not all about Nevada - but that's it about "station Tonopah" and Sharnel.  Since Sharnel's gotten out of prison I've tried to reach out to her and don't get any response.  But this takes us up to about 2009 in Nevada.  More later on Nevada in another blog.  


The main Casino in town


Clown Motel - Notice the parking lot where trucks can park


Little Post Office


A little casino diner 


View of the Clown showing right off highway



Liquor store in town

Book store where meetings were held


An apartment building where we some women were housed.


The thrift store where we could get furniture and clothing for the women.


Show you how close California is from Humboldt County

The apartment building we lived in while there.



Where we'd get the used cars we could make payments on.









No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.