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The People We Trust to 'Save' Women From Prostitution Keep Paying Them for Sex—and Worse

How can cops be trusted to enforce prostitution laws fairly when they can't keep their dicks in their pants?

Bluesguy from NY/FlickrBluesguy from NY/Flickr

Here's a horrifying story out of Chicago, where at least two police officers are under investigation for the sex trafficking of a 14-year-old girl. The local Fox news station is referring to it as a "sex scandal," but I think depraved and egregious abuse of power is probably a better descriptor. The officers were originally under scrutiny for possessing child pornography. An Internal Affairs investigation has since uncovered evidence that they were advertising a 14-year-old girl and potentially other teens for commercial sex. 

This story comes just a few days after the FBI announced the "rescue" of "149 child sex trafficking victims" across the country. (More on that effort, known as "Operation Cross Country," here.) By children, the FBI means teenagers, and by sex trafficking victims, they mean any teen selling sex, regardless of whether force or coercion are involved. As more media reports of these so-called rescues are released, the inhumanity and futility of this model of "saving" teens in the sex trade becomes clear. 

Take this account out of Michigan, where the FBI heralded the takedown of 12 alleged pimps and the recovery of 19 minors engaged in prostitution. After identifying "escort" advertisements featuring teens, Michigan State Police and FBI agents swarmed houses and hotel rooms en masse and raided them with weapons drawn. Teens they found were given two options: reunite with their parents or guardians, or receive no help at all—nevermind that some of these girls likely had good reason for running away from foster homes or parents in the first place.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Michael Glennon, who led the Detroit sting, told the Free Press that some of the "19 children rescued" this week have already returned to the sex trade. But at least everyone got to add them to press releases about how many victims were rescued first, right? 

This is what so many well-meaning people don't seem to understand: the tough-on-crime approach to sex-trafficking is about arresting as many people as possible and wresting as many assets as possible from them, not legitimately helping sex trafficking victims (legitimately helping people means paying attention to what they actually need, not threatening them with arrest if they don't testify against others or sending them to church-run "prostitution diversion" camps or giving them bags filled with socks and toiletries and calling it a day.) Just look at the language used by Marinus Analytics, a company getting lots of attention for using big data analysis to aid in human trafficking investigations. In its intro, Marinus promises to help cops and prosecutors "focus your attention to high value criminal targets" and "track the highest value criminal targets in less time."

The assets that can be seized are the prize, the teens selling sex are just convenient cover. And sometimes worse, as in the case of the two Chicago officers. But while the age of the victim makes these agents' actions stand out, tales of police paying, pimping, and sexually assaulting sex workers are far from rare. In the past few months alone, we can pinpoint myriad examples from across the United States:  

  • Five Tucson, Arizona, police officers were fired over the summer after a sex-trafficking investigation into a local massage parlor revealed that the officers had "personal relationships" with women there. Two more officers resigned before the completion of the internal investigation. Another officer was fired "due to evidence of felony computer tampering discovered during the prostitution probe," the Arizona Daily Star reports. The county attorney's office has declined to criminally prosecute any of these cases. 
  • Three San Antonio police officers were arrested in September on charges including aggravated sexual assault, compelling prostitution and official oppression. The officers—Aaron Alford, Alejandro Chapa and Emmanuel Galindo—allegedly offered to pay three women for participating in an "investigation" that involved having sex with them. 
  • In August, Fresno, California, police officer Robert Knight was charged for facilitating the prostitution of his girlfriend. 
  • Las Vegas Detective Michael Kitchens was sentenced in August to three years’ probation for assaulting a sex worker after he decided her fee was too high.  
  • Yakima, Washington, police officer Eric Walls was suspended in August—but not fired—for sleeping with two sex workers. 
  • In July, Fort Worth, Texas, police officer Ryan Candu was fired over allegations that he paid for sex while on duty and messaged obscene photographs of himself to others. Candu's lawyer argues that this isn't fair because other officers in the department have done the same thing but were not investigated or disciplined.

Care to keep going? Looking at news going back to this time last year turns up more than two dozen additional examples, including some involving police chiefs and multiple crimes involving young girls. 

  • Jeanerette, Texas, Police Chief Marvin Grogan was arrested in May in conjunction with a prostitution, drug, and child sex-trafficking investigation into Lipsticks Gentleman's Club. He was placed on administrative leave for a month before resigning. Grogan is accused of continuing to work security at the club after an official investigation ended and not reporting illegal activities taking place there. 
  • In April, former Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden plead guilty to destruction of evidence and making false statements to federal agents after paying a woman $300 for sex, giving her a deputy's badge and uniform so she could get hotel discounts, and lying about it. 
  • Las Vegas Sergeant Keith T. Barrow was suspended in February after sleeping with a sex worker who stole his handcuffs and gun. 
  • In January, Cook County Sheriff's Deputy Fernando Rodriguez was charged with attempted sexual assault, unlawful restraint, and official misconduct. Fernando allegedly called a sex worker into his car and, gun in hand, told her "Take care of me the right way and I’ll let you walk." He was interrupted by other police officers.
  • Moundsville, West Virginia, Police Officer Benjamin Davis was arrested in January on two counts of sexual assault and two counts of soliciting a minor. He was placed on paid leave and resigned a month later. An investigation found multiple nude photos of teens on his phone, as well as texts he had sent them with nude pictures of himself. 
  • Last November, Gainesville, Florida, Officer Robert V. Gebhardt was fired after an internal investigation found he visited a 19-year-old sex worker in jail after arresting her for shoplifting, later taking her out to dinner and paying her $50 for sex. He subsequently continued trying to see the woman, who was addicted to crack, and went searching for her at "known drug houses" when she wouldn't respond.  
  • Baltimore Police Officer Lamin Manneh was sentenced last November for running a multi-state prostitution enterprise in 2013. 
  • A former San Bernardino, California, vice detective was sentenced last October to 25 years in federal prison. Jose Jesus Perez was found to have forced sex workers to engage in sexual activity with him or face arrest; the assaults took place in 2011. 
  • Philadelphia Officer Ronald D. Thompson was arrested in an October 2014 prostitution sting. 

Some will likely point out that this is a big country with a big police force, and a few dozen bad apples does not a dire situation make. But let's also remember that these are merely the cops who got caught and made the news. How many officers get away with coercing and assaulting sex workers because the women think that no one will believe them? How many departments overlook solicitation by their officers? Knowing what we know about how police protect their own, it doesn't seem too big of a stretch to imagine that much of this sort of thing simply gets swept under the rug.

And of course we also have evidence of these sorts of cover-ups. For instance, last year, Fort Smith, Arkansas, Sergeant Don Paul Bales was fired after raising concerns about another officer engaging in sex acts with a woman before arresting her for prostitution; the officer alleged of doing so is still employed by the department. In Minneapolis, three undercover cops whose names were released after allegations that they messed around with sex workers before arresting them are currently suing the city, county, and state of Minnesota for releasing their names. 

The Cato Institute's Jonathan Blanks compiles an ongoing daily list of police misconduct reports. Peruse just a few pages on the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project site and you'll find a ridiculous number of rape, sexual assault, stalking, statutory rape, domestic violence, child pornography, and child molestation charges. A study from Cato found that sexual misconduct was the second highest of all complaints against police officers in 2010, representing 9.3 percent of all complaints. More than 350 of the 618 complaints involved non-consensual sexual acts, and over half involved minors. 

Photo Credit: Bluesguy from NY/Flickr

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  • __Warren__||

    One of these days I might just stop trusting the police.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I think you answered your own question Elizabeth.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Oh hell, we all already knew both question and answer. Most of the public also knows the answer, but won't admit it. The police are corrupt because government is corrupt, by definition and by nature. It's what governments do. Power breeds corruption, and governments define themselves as a monopoly, therefore they use their power to stomp on the competition.

    Statists gonna state. No surprises.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    I'll add that I think most people don't want this state of affairs, that they would be happy without a monopolistic coercive government, even if they would never admit it. But people are used to government of some sort and rightly recognize they have little control over it, so it's easier to jsut get on with life and ignore it as much as possible. But when someone suggests doing away with something which benefits them, whether it is building roads, paying pensions, medical benefits, policing drug dealers and prostitutes, they take the easy way out.

    Take druggies and prostitutes for example. Most people merely parrot the government line if pressed, but don't really know enough to make informed decisions, and know there's no need to be informed because they have no control over whether drugs or prostitution are illegal. But they do know they don't want to see drug deals and prostitution on the sidewalk in front of their homes or business, and there they can call teh police or city council and scream. It's the only control they do have, so they exercise it.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    See, if you were to ask these people to actually study and inform themselves on why druggies and prostitutes conduct their business in public, they would realize it's because the State made it illegal to do otherwise. In other words, the State creates these problems and 99.999% of all social problems, then waits for the public to scream about the utterly predictable consequences, and uses that public outrage to justify further State intrusion.

    We all know this. But most people rationally know they can't do anything about it, and they have lives to live, so they just deal with the predictable consequences in a predictable manner, the State expands, and life continues.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Scienfoology Song… GAWD = Government Almighty’s Wrath Delivers

    Government loves me, This I know,
    For the Government tells me so,
    Little ones to GAWD belong,
    We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
    Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
    Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
    And gives me all that I might need!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    DEA, CIA, KGB,
    Our protectors, they will be,
    FBI, TSA, and FDA,
    With us, astride us, in every way!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Considering the amount of people who read this from work, even on Saturdays, the choice of accompanying pic is gangsta.

  • Slammer||

    "Tastes like bacon" or "Tastes like fear"?

  • Elizabeth Nolan Brown||

    It's so blurry though! Do you really think it's a problem? (I wasn't sure if it was too much or not, but...)

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't think it's a problem.

    Then again, I'm an unrehabilitated pervert, so addito salis grano and all that...

  • Slammer||

    HM, check out this movie poster. Note the directors.

  • AlmightyJB||

    That's pretty much how I picture all of the women commenters here.

  • GamerFromJump||

    Sans the commie tat, of course.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You expected my eyes to move down?

  • Notorious UGCC||

    Librariana? If librarians were like that I'd go more often!

  • ||

    No, it's nicely edgy. Reason needs more right-on-the-line pics with alt-text as it is.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "a problem?"

    It's us Elizabeth

  • prolefeed||

    I did think the low resolution was a problem.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    See my link below.

  • PACW||

    "Do you really think it's a problem?" Normally I would say yes, for a respectable site that is a bit much. But assuming the picture wasn't taken at a Halloween party or staged for illustration - this is no different than other photos showing crimes in progress. In fact if it's a real picture I would not blur the officer's face.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I thought the pic had positive shock value to offset denial. Writer Kevin Ashton reports on ingrained resistance to change in "How to Fly a Horse." Doctors killed patients by refusing to wash their hands. Bacteria observed in the stomach were ignored for over a century because physicians refused to abandon dogma and race reality. Jet designers got around this innate human tendency by betting on who was right and testing for outcomes. Journalists have to trot out reams of facts that debunk lazy acceptance of the status quo, and this article definitely does that. "Our boys in blue would never stoop..." is superstition that is slowly being eroded by so much proof to the contrary that politicians who mouth it will lose in honest elections.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If your job requires you to be in the office on a Saturday, Reason is doing you a favor getting you fired for being a sicko.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    To help solve the problem of gun violence in America, Salon writer proposes shooting all gun owners.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Why stop at gun owners?

  • prolefeed||

    Trying to figure out if that article was trolling, hyperbole, or what this arsehole actually thinks is a sensible and workable policy proposal.

    For starters, to be the person shooting the would be gun owners, you'd first have to take a bullet yourself. Not a lot of takers would be my guess.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Considering who pays for the guns used by the police and military technically we're all gun owners.

  • prolefeed||

    Only if you feel that after the moral equivalent of the mafia steals money from you and spends it on stuff, that you, and not the Mafiosi-ish people, are the actual owner of that stuff.

    Try taking a cop car for a ride, because you think you own that car. Let m know how that turns out.

  • Hank Phillips||

    There is a Kevin Bacon movie out about exactly that--and cops corrupted by prohibition and asset-forfeiture.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Not sure why his face is blurred out. Expectation of privacy when he's passing out get out of jail free cards?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Whoops, was in reply to HM.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm guessing that it's because the photographer doesn't want to get killed.

  • Slammer||

    The photographer is probably his partner.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Domestic?

  • Paul.||

    Uh, that's his partner in the blonde wig.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Watching cable news now in days [sic] makes me physically ill

    It only gets worse from there, yet Salon chose to publish it unedited. Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations!

  • Paul.||

    Is this what a college degree gets you now in days?

  • SatanicBunniesOfDeath||

    From the article: "Our country isn't responsible enough for guns." Because a handful of folks got uppity and decided to be muderous cunts means that an entire nation of 330 million people cannot be trusted with the inalienable human right of self-defense. I know statists are stupid, but sometimes I just cannot believe HOW fucking stupid they are.

    Also, if you're going to call people cowards, don't be one yourself. Why doesn't this cheap, driveling non-entity go around shooting gun-toting Americans himself? Probably doesn't want his brains blasted out. Not that he has any.

  • Hank Ferrous||

    Just a guess, but after childhood socialization to believe that one's opinion is sacrosanct, Creative Writing (chuckling) MFA's from Baltimore who have horrific grammar probably project when they use the term 'coward.'

    My favorite bit, 'Gun praisers are just like the people who were in favor of slavery back in the day,' a sort of ethical false equivalency, or, plain old Leftist horseshit served up like a fact and never to be questioned.

  • B. Woodrow Chippenhaus||

    "I believe that being shot should be requirement for gun ownership in America. It’s very simple. You need to have gun, like taking selfies with pistols, can’t live with out it? Then take a bullet and you will be granted the right to purchase the firearm of your choice.

    If we could successfully implement this rule, I guarantee the mass shootings will stop. "

    I'm sure this would mean the end of black market weapons sales. I mean, everybody knows what a sticker criminals are for following rules.

  • Vox Purpura||

    If we could successfully implement this rule, I guarantee the mass shootings will stop.

    Does he realize that most of the mass shooters were expecting to eventually get shot while committing their atrocities? And in some cases, they shot themselves? I don't think his "solution" would have nearly the efficacy he assumes.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "I expect the disconnect from a guy like Trump who has probably never met a poor person in his life, but Carson spent years in my hometown of Baltimore. The nation knows that people in Baltimore are quick to reach for their guns, as our per capita murder ranks among the highest in the country every year. Carson worked at Johns Hopkins, a place that treated many victims of senseless gun violence and even tells the story of the time a dude in Popeye’s whipped out on him. If that dude would have shot him, his view on gun control would be completely different."

    I suppose it's possible that Dr. Carson experienced the consequences of criminals shooting people in Baltimore and drew different conclusions from that experience than the author did.

    But this would require the author to presume Dr. Carson's good faith, and we can't have that. No, everyone who disagrees with the author is stupid or dishonest.

  • GamerFromJump||

    And of course, noticing the near-certain commonalities between the people he treated at Johns Hopkins, and the guy who drew on him in Popeye's, would be waacist.

  • Christophe||

    Can we expand the logic?

    - You can only drive after you get run over by a car.
    - You can only buy a house after someone uses you as shelter.
    - You can only eat meat after someone takes a bite out of you.
    - You can only be president after you get nuked.

    Actually that last one isn't so bad...

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    If you're a male feminist who believes women never lie about rape, you have to agree to go directly to prison with no trial if you ever get accused of rape.

  • GamerFromJump||

    I for one welcome our atomic mutant overlord.

  • GamerFromJump||

    To help solve the problem of libfascists in America...

  • AlmightyJB||

    Biggest scumbags? Vice cops or the prosecutors and DA's that protect and enable them?

  • JW||

    It's a tie, like your sister blowing you.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Every now and again, someone here comes up with a brilliant new line.

  • SusanM||

    OT from TerrestrialPulchritude: The most trusting name in news:

    http://thinkprogress.org/world.....e-simmons/

    On Thursday, a man named Wayne Simmons was arrested by the FBI for what the agency called “major fraud” — lying about having worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for nearly 30 years, and then using that lie to obtain government security clearances.

    Before his arrest, though, Simmons was a frequent contributor on Fox News, which billed him as a “former CIA operative.” And as might be expected, he used his claimed experience to make provocative assertions about U.S. national security policy, particularly America’s vulnerability to terrorism.
  • AlmightyJB||

    If you're going the con man route, go big or stay home.

  • GILMORE™||

    I was so hoping it was the CIA - oh, excuse me... "Agency" - tough-guy they used on The Independents

    I so enjoyed the way he'd make blustery assertions that weren't even internally consistent, all validated by the "I once worked for a govt agency that has the distinction of being wrong about every major international intelligence issue of the 20th century"...

    ... or, as this guy put it, "mainly a reservoir of incompetence and delusions that serves no one's interests well"

  • PapayaSF||

    OT: More young French saying 'au devoir' to their homeland

    [...] So they left to Australia, New York or Canada, becoming part of the growing wave of young French citizens seeking a future elsewhere.

    The official statistics agency INSEE said this week that between 2006 and 2013, the number of French emigrating jumped from 140,000 a year to 200,000, 80 percent of them between 18 and 29 years old. [...]

    France's stagnating economy, high taxes and soaring unemployment have also been cited as factors.

    But don't worry, I'm sure they can fix things by just importing more Muslims from Africa and the Middle East.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That is part of the solution, for sure.

  • Notorious UGCC||

    These people would rather move to *New York* than stay in France?

    How f'd up has France become?

  • JW||

    You OK there, big gai? I don't want you giving yourself nightmares with such scary thoughts.

  • PapayaSF||

    So JW, your point is: why should anyone be concerned about Western nations increasing their populations of people who don't believe in Western values like liberty and democracy and rights for women and gays? I don't lose sleep over it, but yes, I think it's a concern. You don't?

  • Christophe||

    The problem is your belief that France and the majority of native french people believe in liberty, or even tolerate it. We're talking about a country that embraces violent behavior from unions, suppresses free speech, and bans wearing a mickey mouse costume in public.

    You really think the young french people are fleeing the brown hordes, as opposed to the existing disaster called France?

  • wareagle||

    I imagine the brown hordes are not making them reconsider leaving. Compared to what's moving in, France is a bastion of liberty.

  • PapayaSF||

    I would guess they are largely leaving because France is statist and sclerotic, but I doubt they see Muslim immigration as a positive and something they'll miss when they move. My remark was a knock at what I consider the short-sighted and idiotic policy that says all humans are identical and easily replaced. The Cytotoxic view: that all immigration is always good, that if you need workers you simply bring in Somalis or Syrians. "What's the difference between them and French or Germans? They're all human, right?" Of course there are plenty of differences, but often both statists and libertarians like to ignore things like culture and religion and just see people as interchangeable economic units.

  • Agammamon||

    Of course, immigration into France in general (and Muslims in particular) would probably not be a problem if the French government didn't go out of their way to segregate these people and keep them out of the open economy.

    When you've grown up Banlieue 13 with little prospect of getting a legitimate job and no way to afford to leave - you might get a little radicalized.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Young people have been abandoning Italy for decades. I can't say I blame them.

  • Hank Phillips||

    I´ve never met a Frenchman who had a clear notion of the meaning of "freedom" or "a right." Bastiat came close, but was baffled in his quest for an objective definition of "government." Rather than pick on them, it is more constructive to offer them sensible options in their own language. What the world needs is a few good libertarian translators.

  • JW||

    increasing their populations of people who don't believe in Western values like liberty and democracy and rights for women and gays?

    And you think the natives do?

    I think that nativists enjoy shitting their pants about The Other on a regular basis.

  • PapayaSF||

    The average natives of France and Germany believe in those values more than the average Arab Muslim, certainly. Those countries aren't filled with libertarians, but they are a heck of a lot closer to libertarians than the average Muslim, who, if he's devout, believes in a totalitarian theocracy.

  • Agammamon||

    Slightly more than 0 is still pretty damn close to 0.

    The French have *never* really believed in anything we would call 'freedom', and 'libertarianism' scares the fuck out of them. At least (from their perspective) the incoming Muslim hordes respect the power of the state.

  • Hank Phillips||

    That matches my observation, but the difference looks like one of degree, not kind. Germany's positive Christianity developed into national socialism, which is not so different from the totalitarian theocracies in the news today. Anyone organizing a libertarian anything in Europe is quickly overrun by anarchist communists shouting that communism is "really" libertarian. They write the Wikipedia in their languages, and that spills over into the small handful of people who actually write the Wikipedia in English. Griping does little to change that.

  • Robert||

    Why would they say, "To the work," or, "to the effort"?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    ENB, I have another one for you:
    http://www.dailybreeze.com/gen.....n-into-him

    I know the backstory on this one, and it's pretty fucking ridiculous.

  • Paul.||

    Looks like Gaetano has a bit of a history.

    http://archive.easyreadernews......ssuePath;=

    Coello was arrested in the early hours of Sept. 16, 2006 on suspicion of public drunkenness and making annoying phone calls to a 911 dispatcher after police came to his 18th Street home in response to a neighbor’s complaint about noise from a backyard swimming pool where he and a handful of guests had gathered.
    The lawsuit claimed that: Coello and his guests had gone inside the home when Coello saw Officer Gaetano Lobue in his back yard. Coello waved Lobue around to the front door and met him there.
    Lobue stood at the front door and “demanded identification” from Coello, who remained inside and told the officer he had no identification because he was wearing swim trunks. He told Lobue he was the owner of the house.
    “Lobue responded by ordering everyone from [Coello’s] home,” then the two argued over whether Lobue had the authority to make such a demand. Coello “asked Lobue to leave.” Lobue said he would not do so until Coello’s guests left, and then Coello tried to close the door but was “prevented by Lobue’s foot.”
    Lobue told Coello that he “drank too much.” Coello then telephoned 911 and try to talk to the officer’s supervisor. A dispatcher said a supervisor would be sent, and then Lobue radioed the dispatcher and cancelled the request.
  • ||

    This is so disheartening. Yet a large port of the population continue to give a great deal of deference to the pigs. It seems that no matter how much evidence one provides to show how many people the pigs murder, extort, traffic, or steal from, the vast majority of Americans will enthusiastically submit the authority of these brigands. I bet that if Obama were to order people to interment camps tomorrow, most would comply and have no sympathy with those who would resist. What a nation of cowardly sycophants. This nation deserves a Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton.

  • Rhywun||

    how many people the pigs murder, extort, traffic, or steal from

    I think what's worse than the number of them (because who knows the ratio of good cops to bad cops - stop laughing) but the fact that nothing happens.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    It's because they rationally know they can't change the big picture. I bet most people know full well that power corrupts, even if they won't admit it, or excuse it with "not everybody", but regardless, they know they can't change it, so why bother. All they realy can do is scream for the State to take action in their particular case -- fix potholes, drive away prostitutes and druggies, clean up the park.

  • Whahappan?||

    "I bet that if Obama were to order people to interment camps tomorrow, most would comply and have no sympathy with those who would resist."

    Of course that's exactly what FDR did and the Supreme Court blessed it and FDR is revered to this day.

  • ||

    The more wars on consensual activities get hyped, the more the worst possible people gravitate to them. If you're a cop who likes banging underage prostitutes (maybe with a nice helping of forced coercion), and suddenly they're forming a very public task force to find underage prostitutes and arrest them...you are going to make sure you are first in line for that job. Not only will it give you excellent access to underage prostitutes, it will also put you in an even better position of power of them than you ever had before. And on top of it all, you will be publicly viewed as a hero for "helping" them, thereby only increasing your cover and therefore your ability to extort and abuse. It's basically a clarion call for sexually abusive law enforcement officers.

    This is only going to get worse. The fact that people seem utterly incapable of seeing incredibly clear perverse incentives continues to amaze and horrify me daily.

  • ||

    The hero worship is amazingly horrifying. The human race must have some sort of innate need to have authority figures. If they don't exist, they create them.

  • AlmightyJB||

    See all of our trolls. Kneeling is their favorite position.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm not sure it's innate as opposed to insidiously socialized.

  • prolefeed||

    Nice commentary on religion, Troy.

  • R C Dean||

    The human race must have some sort of innate need to have authority figures.

    We're pack animals. Packs have alphas/leaders. Its pretty well hard-wired, I'm afraid.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I think Factory Education has made it worse. Not so much intensified it as channeled it.

  • JW||

    Say, you're not from that other tribe are you?

    GET HIM!

  • John Titor||

    Not once my horrifying brain surgeries on the local orphan population work out.

  • ||

    Submission to authority is a big problem with humans, but that wasn't really what I was getting at. I was trying to point out that any kind of crackdown or "war" on consensual behavior always ends up creating a space for the worst possible people to come in and abuse the situation. Since consensual behavior doesn't really have a complainant that is participating in the transaction (it's sure not the Johns and sex workers who are complaining about what they do and want it stopped), all the pressure comes from outside, where it has completely different incentives than the proper incentive when you have a complainant directly involved: that of having been wronged in the transaction in some way.

    It's all about incentives. The problem, that blows me away constantly because it is so pervasive, is that countless people actually listen to what people say their incentives are, instead of looking at what the actual incentives are and what their actions are. Words are wind, they don't mean shit. When someone says they want to outlaw e-cigs "for health reasons", do you believe them? And when someone says they want to crack down on sex workers "to stop sex trafficking", do you believe them?

  • ||

    (it's sure not the Johns and sex workers who are complaining about what they do and want it stopped

    Well, if this were legalized, I could imagine some complaints.

    1) Your Honor, the gist of my Complaint is to compel damages from her failure to honor her Two-for-one Coupon.

    2) This is a complaint for the violation of fitness for a particular purpose. I specifically contracted for a "golden shower."

    3) This was advertised as like a "all-you-can-eat" buffet.

  • ||

    Warranty of Merchantability.

    Your Honor, the product was clearly defective. It was like throwing a hot dog down a hallway.

  • Paul.||

    I think it's the sexy uniforms.

  • Cytotoxic||

    OT: is Hyena Road good enough to see in theatres? I saw Sycario and was kinda meh on it.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I do not understand the photo that accompanies the article. It seems like the officer is merely instructing her on how to properly suck her thumb.

  • R C Dean||

    OK, I laughed at this one:

    Las Vegas Sergeant Keith T. Barrow was suspended in February after sleeping with a sex worker who stole his handcuffs and gun.

  • GILMORE™||

    *suspended*?

    "Sgt Barrow, we have a policy that when you're extorting sexual favors from prostitutes under threat of imprisonment that you keep your weapon in sight at all times!"

  • Notorious UGCC||

    "But I *was* keeping track of it - oh, you mean my firearm."

  • John Titor||

    "Preferably pointed at the whore's head in some kind of sick dominance fetish."

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Las Vegas Detective Michael Kitchens was sentenced in August to three years’ probation for assaulting a sex worker after he decided her fee was too high."

    I'm sure the cops are always surprised to find that the prostitutes they abuse can't be trusted to keep it all secret.

  • John Titor||

    He's probably not going to want those handcuffs back.

  • Nosea||

    We've talked about it a hundred times--power corrupts people. Not all people, but by varying degrees most people. If prostitution was legal they could spend most of their time finding pedophiles .

  • JW||

    power corrupts people

    That's quaint, but wrong.

    Corrupt people are attracted to power, which we're only too happy to provide for them. Over and over and over.

  • Nosea||

    Power does corrupt people and corrupt people are attracted to power, The latter do the most damage.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Teens they found were given two options: reunite with their parents or guardians, or receive no help at all—nevermind that some of these girls likely had good reason for running away from foster homes or parents in the first place."

    If they did something else, wouldn't it involve institutionalization?

    I don't know what we're supposed to do with minors whose parents, foster homes, group homes, etc. have failed them--so that they've ended up in prostitution.

    What should we do to help them?

  • Hugh Akston||

    As ENB suggests, maybe try asking the girls what they need/want.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I bet they want to be released from police custody.

    Any minor caught in prostitution should be treated like an abuse victim, but a lot of abused kids want to be released back to their abusive parents. I don't want to abandon child prostitutes, and I don't want to release them back to their pimps. Helping them do what they want in those situations may not be the right thing either.

    The solution is to do something major with the foster care/group home system, but there isn't much of a voter constituency for that. And I doubt there will ever be enough good people who want to take in kids that have been abused and prostituted. That's a tall order.

    I hate to say it, but I'm not sure some kind of government program isn't the answer here. You can't release 14 year old ex-prostitutes into the street without any kind of legal guardianship, and whether that means confining the unwilling in an institution, a group home, or a foster home, I'm thinking there should be something like a path to emancipation.

    You get a GED, do this, that, and the other, and you can be emancipated. Agree to confine yourself to this group home or institution, and once you pass your GED, do counseling, etc., you're emancipated and free to go.

  • ||

    Just try to keep the pigs from volunteering, in mass, from working at the group home.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Except that the government programs that ENB mentioned are fraught with abuse and corruption. And you're talking about taking kids who you believe to be victims and imprisoning them in a government program without a trial until they jump through your one-size-fits-all hoops.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I mentioned doing something major with the foster care/group home system. That abuse and corruption was what I was talking about.

    And I'm not sure such kids are or would be imprisoned any more than any other kid.

    Kids aren't allowed to move out of their parents' home--certainly not without parental rights being terminated or the parents' consent. Is that imprisonment? I don't think so.

    And if we're talking about kids that have already been prostituted... Parents have a legitimate responsibility to care for and protect their children, and when they fail, well, if government has any legitimate purpose at all, it's to protect our rights.

    Children can't consent until they're of age or emancipated. Any prostitution of a child is a violation of their rights, and if there aren't any parents or trustworthy parents to do that in the face of pimps and the street, then legitimate government may very well have a responsibility to protect such children and their rights.

  • ||

    Kids aren't allowed to move out of their parents' home--certainly not without parental rights being terminated or the parents' consent. Is that imprisonment? I don't think so.

    Of course it is. What the fuck else could it possibly be?

  • Ken Shultz||

    There are a lot of things it could mean. Here are a couple of likely candidates:

    First, it could mean that parents are considered better at making decisions for and about their children than other people or the government, so the government protects the rights of children by protecting the right of parents to make decisions about where their children live, with whom they live, etc. In fact, failing to do that is called "neglect", and neglecting your children is and should be a crime.

    Second, it could be that there is a direct relationship between whether we can be held responsible for our choices and what we're free to do. Because children normally can't be held responsible for their choices (like adults can), it could mean that what they're free to do is limited.

    Children can't even be held to contracts they sign. I believe the only contracts children can be held to are for things like food. If a child orders food in a restaurant, they have accepted the responsibility to pay for it. If a child buys a dirt bike from you and wrecks it, he can sue you to get his money back. I.e, because they can't be held responsible for their choices, their choices are limited.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I have no problem with laws that prohibit people from selling drugs to children, hiring them as prostitutes, for pornographic purposes, etc, and I don't have a problem in requiring their parent or legal guardian to sign off on other decisions they want to make. You want to deal with somebody's kids, that kid either needs to be emancipated or you should need the parents' or legal guardian's consent. Why shouldn't that apply to where they live and with whom they live?

  • Vox Purpura||

    Depends on how old they are. A life of black-market prostitution is not something I consider a 14 year old to be competent to choose.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    In one of the examples from the ENB's reporting about the child trafficking operation, the police were bragging about giving the prostitutes a bag filled with items for a fresh start, or something along those lines. So, the people who come up with that solution should not be trusted to come up with other solutions for anyone else.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Also, the photo is brutal, but it tells the story better than anything.

    You know on TV and in the movies, the whole purpose of the police department is to save white girls in trouble. And people really believe that shit.

  • Ken Shultz||

  • DEATFBIRSECIA||

    They can't keep their dicks in their pants because they are dicks. The pants would have to cover their entire body.

  • Brochettaward||

    I'm willing to bet ENB found more cases of police soliciting prostitutes than any authority can actual sex trafficking cases.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Imagine if she had written a story about politicians soliciting prostitutes.

  • Brian||

    I'm sure these cops are facing human trafficking prosecutions.

    Any day now.

  • biljay||

    Laws against prostitution, a voluntary act between two consenting people, is just another way to create jobs for enforcers, attorneys, and judges. Read "Three Felonies a Day" by Silvergate

  • Zeb||

    I think prostitution should be completely legal and I manage to refrain from fucking any.

    Positions of authority really do attract psychos and people with no self control, don't they?

  • Vox Purpura||

    That's why police recruits have to under go psych evals.

  • Christophe||

    You've got it backwards. The prostitution ban is supported by people who worry about how little self control they have and how they'd go whoring everyday if it wasn't illegal.

    Much like Patrick J, Kennedy is against drugs and alcohol, because he's a drunk.
    Much like socialists want charity enforced at the point of a gun, because they'd never help anyone willingly.
    Much like gun-grabbers worry others doing what they'd do with a weapon.

  • __Warren__||

    Some pants were unzipped and a cock was sucked. We investigated and it falls within our policy guidelines.

  • Vox Purpura||

    Normally an article this long would be a massive case of tl;dr, but the subject matter helps a little.

  • Agammamon||

    ENB, this is kinda late and all - but I think you should unblur (and add a blown up and cleaned up picture of) the the cops unit badge.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Can someone provide a link to that pic so I can send it to my cop loving acquaintances? I tried clicking on it, but it says I have to sign in.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Right click the image, go to the link, and sign into Flickr, amirite?

  • sexleksaker||

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  • Bruce Majors||

    #BlueBallsMatter

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