Spitzer Won't Pay for Illicit Sex (Again, I Mean)

Yesterday U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia announced that former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer will not face federal charges for paying women to have sex with him. "Prosecutors found no evidence that Mr. Spitzer had used public money or campaign funds to pay for his encounters with prostitutes," The New York Times reports, and evidently they decided that money laundering charges were not justified based on Spitzer's attempts to disguise payments to the Emperor's Club VIP, the call girl service he patronized. "On multiple occasions," Garcia said, "Mr. Spitzer arranged for women to travel from one state to another state to engage in prostitution." That in itself would be enough to justify prosecution under the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting or luring individuals across state lines for the purpose of prostitution. But current Justice Department policy says that, unless minors are involved, federal prostitution prosecutions "should generally be limited to persons engaged in commercial prostitution activities."

No one should be prosecuted for consensual sex, whether or not money changes hands. And much as I dislike Spitzer and relished his downfall, I don't think he should receive especially severe legal treatment simply because he's a celebrity, a politician, or a hypocrite. But I've always had trouble understanding the legal/moral distinction between the suppliers of illegal goods or services and their customers. The former would not exist but for the latter, who are the ones committing the real "crime," while the people they pay are merely accessories. It's also weird that the Justice Department wants to leave johns alone, even in cases where there is an interstate nexus and a clear statutory violation, yet insists on persecuting patients who use marijuana as medicine, even when they grow their own cannabis and it never leaves their homes, let alone the state. 

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  • ||

    So Mr. Spitzer will not be charged. Perhaps the federal prosecutors reasoned that Ms. Dupree had already charged him plenty.

  • ||

    He should have been convicted under the mann act, given a few months in federal prison (no appeal bond so he went to jail that day and did the perp walk in cuffs in front of the media), a few months in a half way house and then disbarred. That would have been a fair punishment. Bastard.

  • Bingo||

    But Obama won't be able to make him Attorney General if he's disbarred!

  • Jozef||

    So let me get this straight: If I get caught hiring a prostitute in New York, I'd be safe from prosecution as long as I used my own money for her services? Or do I have to be a douchebag former AG and governor to get such a treatment?

  • guy in the back row||

    It's also weird that the Justice Department wants to leave johns alone, even in cases where there is an interstate nexus and a clear statutory violation, yet insists on persecuting patients who use marijuana as medicine, even when they grow their own cannabis and it never leaves their homes, let alone the state.

    I seem to me our ruling elite are living in 1961, while the rest of us are living in 2008.

    It's like they got stuck in the era of "Mad Men"

  • ||

    The appropriate charge for Spitzer is several counts of aggravated hypocrisy, but since we don't have that law on the books yet, I guess we'll have to let him walk.

    -jcr

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    It's also weird that the Justice Department wants to leave johns alone, even in cases where there is an interstate nexus and a clear statutory violation, yet insists on persecuting patients who use marijuana as medicine, even when they grow their own cannabis and it never leaves their homes, let alone the state.

    Only in America.

    Or do I have to be a douchebag former AG and governor to get such a treatment?

    Douchebag former AG.

    I'd be happy if Spitzer got about the same sentence as Heidi Fleiss.

  • ||

    No one should be prosecuted for consensual sex, whether or not money changes hands. And much as I dislike Spitzer and relished his downfall, I don't think he should receive especially severe legal treatment simply because he's a celebrity, a politician, or a hypocrite

    Except that he put people in jail for running rings exactly like the one he frequented.

    I was pretty sure he would walk, but should be fucked hard in the ass for this.

    Did mention how much I hate Spitzer?

  • ||

    S'OK by me. The charge fucking steamrolled him right out of office and that's what's truly important.

  • Ganja Blue||

    Tommy Chong got 8 months in federal prison because his name was attached to a website that sold bongs over the Internet, which is legal in most states. The company was coerced by the government to ship them to Pennsylvania by undercover agents at the DEA.

    I don't think prostitution should be legalized, but when the government is aggressively and maliciously prosecuting regular citizens, the non-violent offenders of consensual crimes the double standard is glaring. They take care of their own don't they?

  • ||

    "Did mention how much I hate Spitzer?"
    I hate him too. He even looks greasy... greasy hair, greasy smile.

    And the Boulder streakers are sex felons.

    Topsy-turvy world.
    I need a drink.

  • ||

    Yep. That's fair. Here in the midwest, only hookers and pimps are ever charged. Johns get a free ride home and are told to stop doing that. Arrest and asset forfeiture for just talking to an undercover cop never happens.

    Oh, wait ...

  • rhywun||

    I was pretty sure he would walk, but should be fucked hard in the ass for this.



    Well, he has no future in politics, if that helps. Knock on wood.

  • rhywun||

    J sub D, clearly the answer if you're a man is don't look at, acknowledge, or for heaven's sake speak to any woman in public. Or if you're gay, any man. Tranny hookers should be avoided by men and women, just in case. We have practice with ignoring children; this should be easy.

  • ||

    Well, he has no future in politics, if that helps.

    Yes. This is slightly mollifying to me because he was such a power-hungry shitheel and now he's lost his ability to seek the real power. If he hadn't blown it he could have been AG or even president one day. We should all thank our lucky stars he got derailed so that no one had to Greg Stillson him.

  • Franklin Harris||

    I don't think he should receive especially severe legal treatment simply because he's a celebrity, a politician, or a hypocrite.



    No, no, no. That's exactly why he should receive severe legal treatment!

  • ||

    "equal justice under law"
    uh, except when we don't wanna. Some are more equal than others.

  • ||

    Prior to there being any change in these laws, a few of the fuckers who uphold them so enthusiastically will need to pay the same price they wish upon the proles. That's why I wanted Limbaugh to go to jail for drugs and it's why I wanted Spitzer to go to jail for this.

    As long as our ruling class don't have to follow the same rules as everyone else, those rules will continue to stand.

  • Ska||

    I'm also not pissed that he didn't get time.

    I think disbarrment would be appropriate based on ethical concerns - not that paying for sex is so unethical that you shouldn't be a lawyer any more. The idea he prosecuted anyone for the same actions while soliciting prostitutes himself is such a fantastic hypocrisy - that is unethical.

  • rhywun||

    he could have been AG or even president one day



    Nah, no one with that hairline could possibly get elected president.

  • Joel||

    No one should be prosecuted for consensual sex, whether or not money changes hands. And much as I dislike Spitzer and relished his downfall, I don't think he should receive especially severe legal treatment simply because he's a celebrity, a politician, or a hypocrite.

    I do. Philosophical consistency be damned: Bad karma should be allowed to happen to bad people. If this had been a prole, or even one of his evil peers who happened to be an enemy, Spitzer would have cheerfully ruined his life. Spitzer should be tried, convicted, and executed for his crime. And then flogged. And then fined. Geez, at least steal his car!

  • Jennifer||

    Spitzer should face exactly the same penalties he imposed on others who did the same thing he did.

  • ||

    Nice to see we still have a caste system in the US. The political class is exempt, but the rest of us are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

    Fuckers.

  • ||

    Well, he has no future in politics, if that helps.

    That will be news to Marian Barry.

    I think disbarrment would be appropriate based on ethical concerns

    Oh, yeah. I would be pleasantly shocked if the NY bar did any such thing, though.

  • Ravac||

    Epi,

    You hate Spitzer more than our own Blumenthal?

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Well, he has no future in politics, if that helps. Knock on wood.



    Not really. I'm sure it feels like punishment to him, but that is only because he had so much to lose.

    But the specter of someone blessed with wealth and respect getting off easily compared with the poor and downtrodden doesn't irritate me half as much as the fact that Spitzer was happy to meet out the punishment to those other poor bastards and then deliver moralizing lectures from the courthouse steps.

    Let him be condemend by his own council, damnit!

  • daveednyc||

    Incredible. And completely not surprising.

    Regardless of my own personal beliefs about the illegality of prostitution, this fucker should do time for solicitation. Forget the means by which he paid for it. Last time I checked, prostitution was illegal in DC, where Spitzer dipped his wick.

  • Geotpf||

    I'll bet that under an Obama administration, the Feds won't bother to prosecute Mann Act violations OR medical marijuana patients.

  • Mad Max||

    "Last time I checked, prostitution was illegal in DC, where Spitzer dipped his wick."

    He's not even being prosecuted under DC local law? Seriously? That is appalling.

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  • jtuf||

    But I've always had trouble understanding the legal/moral distinction between the suppliers of illegal goods or services and their customers.

    More voters can picture themselves being in the consumer's shoes than in the supplier's shoes, so consumer's get more simpathy. I guess this explains why protests against businesses outnumber protests against shoppers.

  • Dale Innis||

    I'd just like to say: Headline o' the Day! :)

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