Reason Roundup

Woman Reports Rape to Pennsylvania Cops, Winds Up In Prison for Prostitution

Plus: International attitudes about Russia and China, court rules against book publishers merging, and more...


A woman being transported from a county jail to a court-ordered addiction treatment center said she was raped by the man driving her there. When she reported the rape to police, they charged her with prostitution.

The 23-year-old woman had been imprisoned in Pennsylvania's Franklin County. On September 26, 75-year-old Arthur Oister drove her from there to the White Deer Run Treatment Center, where he was a long-time employee. Upon arriving at the treatment center, the woman told employees Oister had raped her.

The woman told police that Oister had pulled his van over on a dirt path near the river and raped her, according to a report from the Pennsylvania State Police. Oister was charged with institutional sexual assault, with bail set at $25,000.

But that's not the end of it. "During the investigation it was determined that [the pair] had pre-planned oral consensual sex that was performed by Oister in the amount of $20," according to the police report.

So, not only was Oister charged with solicitation in addition to assault, the woman who reported the rape was also changed with prostitution. Hearings in both cases are scheduled for November 15.

After arraignment, the woman was sent to Snyder County Prison.

A compelling argument for the decriminalization of prostitution is that it would allow sex workers (or their customers) to report crimes against them, including sexual assault. Under a criminalized system, many sex workers who are victimized won't go to police for fear they're the ones who will wind up under arrest. Folks fighting to keep sex workers criminalized like to say that this doesn't happen. This case suggests otherwise.


How the world feels about America, Russia, and China. An interesting new report from the University of Cambridge looks at international attitudes about the U.S., China, and Russia and how these views are shifting. The report relies on data spanning 137 countries. From the report:

On the one hand, western democracies stand more firmly than ever behind the United States. Not only that, but the war in Ukraine has galvanised democratic societies worldwide – as the peoples of upper-income democracies in South America, the Asia- Pacific, and Eastern Europe have also moved to a more pro-American stance," write the authors in an executive summary.

However, across a vast span of countries stretching from continental Eurasia to the north and west of Africa, we find the opposite – societies that have moved closer to China and Russia over the course of the last decade. As a result, China and Russia are now narrowly ahead of the United States in their popularity among developing countries.

Read the whole thing here.


A U.S. court ruled against a merger of major publishers Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. More details in this thread:


Elon Musk announces plans for selling Twitter verification:

More on Musk's recent Twitter changes—and reactions to them—in yesterday's Roundup. And a few more perspectives on what Musk means (or at least could mean) for Twitter…

Matthew Yglesias: Elon Musk needs to make Twitter better:

If you think of Twitter as a problem, then Musk almost certainly can't solve the problem. But if you think of Twitter as a product with tremendous value but also a lot of functional limitations, then Musk plausibly can make iterative improvements to the product.

Josh Barro: Elon Musk Can't Unbias Twitter, but He Can Re-Bias It:

While it won't be possible for Twitter to get out of the moderation business, and while nobody could possibly de-bias Twitter's moderation decisions, I do believe Musk will be able to re-bias them in a way that better reflects the actually existing spectrum of political opinion in the United States.


• Heartbreaking:

• North Korea and South Korea are firing missiles into waters off each other's territory.

• With Lula's win in Brazil, the left dominates Latin America, Daniel Raisbeck points out.

• Federal Communications Commission's Brendan Carr is calling on the Council on Foreign Investment to ban TikTok, since the FCC lacks authority.

• Why is Texas requiring a guy who stole a car to register as a sex offender?

• State abortion bans prove easy to evade.

• Why home prices are falling faster now than they did in 2006.

• Pennsylvania can't require people to get a real estate license in order to manage short-term vacation rental properties.

• Canada's Supreme Court says mandatory lifetime sex offender registration for people with two or more convictions is unconstitutional.

• "Marc Victor, the Libertarian Party (L.P.) candidate for U.S. Senate from Arizona, today announced he is dropping out of the race and endorsing his Republican opponent Blake Masters," Reason's Eric Boehm reports.