14 Arrests with RI’s new prostitution law

The State Police have made their first arrests with the new prostitution law in RI.  14 men and women have been arrested.  From Projo:

The state police say they have arrested six women and eight men under the state’s new prostitution law, which bans indoor solicitation.

The arrests come from several undercover operations in the last two months. In some cases, detectives posed as customers who agreed to meet women in hotels in Providence and Warwick to engage in sex for money.

In at least two other undercover operations, a state police detective posed as a prostitute and attracted eight men to “hotels in the Johnston area.”

During the investigations, the detectives answered or placed advertisements on the adult section of Craigs List or in various newspapers to set up their rendezvous.

It will be interesting to see what will come of these cases.  I think it is a first for RI to actually arrest Johns.  When the State House was taking testimony it was discovered that there was over 300 women arrested, and not one John or Pimp was in prison.  One thing that I wonder about, but I know will probably  not going to have a bearing on these arrests is the section of the law about the landlords.  The law stated that is would punish landlords, they could face up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 fines.  I suppose that a hotel would be considered a landlord.  Besides the landlord point, I think that most of this would be considered entrapment, but most of the people will probably plea out before it goes that far.

I have to agree with most of the posters on the Projo story that this is a waste of money.  Providence’s violent crime rate has gone up 19.5% in 2008, and the 2 murders in a drive by shooting last weekend put the murder rate at almost twice what is was last year.  I would really like to see the police go after real criminals, but they probably have to show that they are doing something with the new law.  The police are holding a press conference later today, so you can see that these arrests are driven by the media.  I never knew of police holding press conferences when they arrest someone for a misdemeanor crime.

Hopefully this will be the last arrests for a while.

5 responses to “14 Arrests with RI’s new prostitution law

  1. The Projo not only published the names of the women, but also their addresses. This makes them extremely vulnerable to attack and eviction from their homes.

    I hope you’re proud, Donna Hughes.

  2. Also, in another Projo article, it says that “Social service agencies needing hand-outs of their own”.


    Gee, nobody makes the connection to the new law and everyone hurting financially.

  3. There was a seventeen year old arrested. As Tara pointed out after the strip club scandal, we have an anti-trafficking law that might apply. But the girl has been sent to the Training School. Does anyone have a plan to ‘rescue’ this girl? Or is she a young criminal on her way to three strikes and a long sentence once she turns eighteen?

  4. The resulting criminal records will only make it harder for the women who want to stop prostituting to do so. If the goal of the new prostitution law is to prevent prostitution in this way it will be a complete failure.

    Women should have choices, and the prostitution law simply reduces a woman’s ability to make her own choice.

  5. EllenBrentwood

    Re: New Prostitution Law

    Included in the recent legislation is a provison that allows a judge to consider expunging a SINGLE prostitution related offense, regardless of whether or not the offender has a previous criminal history .

    Well: I work for a social service agency that assists ex-offenders. Last month, several of the women we assist applied for expungements of previous prostitution related offenses. ALL met the current criteria (had only one offense), and ALL WERE DENIED in the 6th District by one VERY predjudice and lowsy jurist. (hmmmm)

    How sad. Also, according the the attorney who handles our pro-bono cases, the women eligible, because applying the provision to previous charges does not violate “ex post facto” standards, as expungement is remedial and not a “law” in and of itself.

    So much for that. Just figured I would keep you all posted.

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