What followed, say several legal specialists, illustrates how a prosperous individual with high-level connections can marshal the formidable resources of federal law enforcement to turn the tables on a criminal and preserve his good name - even if he himself had repeatedly broken the law by paying for sex. In contrast, the alleged prostitute's name is all over court records.This isn't surprising. What has basically happened in this country is that we are (sort of) opposed to prostitution. But almost all of law enforcement is directed at the prostitutes themselves, not those that solicit the services. Prostitution is one of the most complicated problems in law enforcement today, but the disproportionate blame on the women in these cases makes no sense. If we are going to say prostitution is illegal, why are so few men prosecuted for it? The answer is because they are powerful, well-connected, and can afford expensive lawyers that can keep their names private. Now, becoming "tough on prostitution" is likely to fail in the same way becoming "tough on drugs" has. But reading articles like the one today in the Globe just infuriate me.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Via my colleague Jesse, this account of a prostitution case in the Boston Globe just goes to show how effed up the system is. It's a case where an instance of prostitution turned into an instance of extortion; the prostitute demanded more money in exchange for not revealing the businessman's name. The result: the prostitute's name is part of public court records while the businessman has managed to remain anonymous.