My libertarian is itchy
I’m confused by this:
A New Jersey woman has been arrested for prostitution after police say she used the Web site Craigslist to find clients….
A 32-year-old Smithtown man accused of being her client also was arrested.
Suffolk County police say they set up surveillance at the hotel after they learned that the woman had allegedly set up shop there and was using Craigslist to advertise.
I understand the quality-of-life issues that make “street” prostitution illegal and meriting intervention by the police. But what about this situation that made it something law enforcement had to surveil? If this woman met this man online, met him at this hotel, had sex, and did not charge him, then it was all fine. If she was ambitious and did this act 20 times a day, and never made one cent, there would be no arrest.
Recalling the prostitute on the street corner, even if no money were exchanged, neighborhoods tend to frown on illicit sex in parked cars. There are still crimes taking place. Free or fee, it’s still illegal.
But this situation? Suffolk County wasted a lot of money to catch this woman. I genuinely don’t understand why.
What makes it worse for the guy from Smithtown is, potentially, he can be charged with trafficking, under the White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910 (Mann Act), because she crossed state lines. That’s probably not going to happen, since the law is kind of dubious and is generally applied as a politically motivated act.
I understand that prostitution is a symptom of our patriarchal society. I understand that there are women who are abused, injured, and killed because they are, or are forced to be, prostitutes. I would hope that the young woman from New Jersey in this article is doing this by choice and not under duress, but, even if that were the case, the crime she is being charged with here is accepting money from a man. And I don’t see how that helps her or society.
Posted by Jonathan at 10:41 AM, 11 July 2008