Raids Started…

The first raids have started in the Providence spas since the law changed in November.  These are not the first arrests with the new prostitution law.  The first arrests involved stings led by the RI State Police where14 clients and customers (most famously was Pat Patriot, the New England Patriot’s Mascot) were set up using craigslist and the Providence Pheonix.  These arrests that occured on Thursday night happened in two Providence spas.  Three women were arrested and one manager.  From the Providence Journal

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Providence police charged four women on prostitution charges Friday after conducting undercover operations at two spas.
It’s the first raid of an alleged brothel since a change in Rhode Island law last November made indoor prostitution illegal.
No clients were arrested.

For years, police had stopped trying to prosecute “massage parlors” and “spas” which police said were brothels because of a loophole in the law that prevented them from prosecuting prostitution when it occurred indoors. Now, that loophole has been closed.

Last December, state police arrested women at hotels in Providence, Warwick and Johnston. In interviews in mid-December, Rhode Island strip-club owners said business was down in the wake of the new law.

At a District Court arraignment, Judge Robert K. Pirraglia released the suspects in the spa arrests pending a court appearance on March 10.

In the projo report, (and I am not reposting the entire thing because names are used) they say that one woman was arrested for allowing prostitution.  This is a new part of the law “permitting prostitution”, and it will be interesting to see if these charges stick.  When the first rounds of arrests were made there were no managers of the hotels arrested for “permitting prostitution”.  Also, when this law was enacted there was a ton of lip service done to “helping the victims”, yet once again there were no translators available to the women arrested.  How are you helping these “victims” if you are not even talking to them?  It is sad to think that all those people who fought for this law were duped, this law isn’t helping anyone.

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4 responses to “Raids Started…

  1. Rhode Island has had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Yet recently the success of the spas have resulted in the productive use of what would otherwise be many empty boarded-up storefronts in downtown providence. And the spas have provided employment for hundreds while helping to attract thousands of tourists.

    Having the police harass these spas and spa workers is sort of like shooting yourself in the foot isn’t it? What about the lost tourist revenue? These spas jobs pay very well – what are these women supposed to do for work? Clean empty hotel rooms? How will these women be “helped” with a criminal record, fines, and jail time? They will only be forced to go back to the quick-money offered by prostitution.

    Will somebody in the RI state government please remove their head from their ass and think about these policy implications?!

  2. I wonder how many undercover cops should be arrested for permitting prostitution after they act as customers for months on end.

  3. Well, the women, if they don’t speak English, could very well get off on that technicality, if they’re lawyer was smart enough to pursue this avenue.

  4. Excuse me, the correct spelling is “their lawyer”.

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