Debate and Discussion

Defining a sex crime?
ozoneocean at 8:05AM, Nov. 24, 2006
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Sorry, I don't want to spam the debate forum by creating new topics all the time, but seeing as I've just finished jurrying a trial and I'm now allowed to talk about it, I thought it might be interesting to discuss some of the questions it raised.

The case came under the auspices of sexual assault, specifically “sexual penetration without consent”, 5 counts. Broadly, the accused was alleged to have misrepresented himself as a police officer to two prostitutes at two different times. By telling them he was a police officer and creating that impression in their minds, he was able to use that to “bargain” the price of one prostitute down from her normal price of 150$ to 80$, as well as touch her where she didn't want to be touched, and to kiss her, even though she didn't ever do that with clients.
For the second prostitute, he is alleged to have obtained her services for free.
The counts refer to each separate act of sexual penetration; fellatio and vaginal sex in both cases.
He apparently never offered any implicit threats, simply making it known in a round about way that he was a member of the police force, (which he wasn't).

I'll tell you right now, I was the earliest of all the jurors to determine he must be guilty on all counts. We only judge on guilt and the law, not logic, ethics, or morals. In the law, sex without “consent” is defined as a crime, and a person can be said not to have given “free consent” if that consent was obtained by force, threat, deceit, fraud, or intimidation. In this case deceit, fraud and intimidation with implied threat were alleged to have occurred.
-the man also had a fake police badge in his car that he had showed to one of the women at an earlier meeting, as well was a replica pistol in a holster locked in the glove box, that he had never shown either girl-

Still, I ask you, due to the mercenary nature of the sexual services in question, shouldn't the man have been more properly charged with an offence like ordinary fraud, or even theft? I only wonder since if he hadn't used the police officer ruse and he'd paid the girls properly, the sexual acts would have still largely taken place and there wouldn't have been a case.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
Obsidian at 11:52AM, Nov. 24, 2006
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Ooooh , this is a murky grey area. Prostitutes are not looked upon favorably and can be seen as open prey for this sort of things that should know better and only deserve what came to them. I do not agree with that view though, especially in this case. A man goes to these “working women” and masquerades as an undercover cop. Cops go undercover all the time either as prostittes or “John” in order to apprehend these women or their clients. So if they get snagged by a cop, they panic and are more open to doing anything to get out of their situation. They may have kids at home to feed, or they just don't want to go to prison, or even they have a reputation at stake and don't want others to really know they are a prostitute. So they do things for this “man” out of fear of being arrested and/or harassed. He gets “bonuses” that other clients don't get - doing things in areas that these women, despite selling their bodies, saw as sacred and only their loved one or significant other can have access to said area. If these women had things their way, they would have done nothing with the man and probably would have ran as far away as possible.

Looking at it from a police perspective, what this man did tarnishes the police reputation (as if it were in mint condition anyhow). He has cast even more suspicion and doubt in this “night” community. It is one thing to bust someone, but to force them to do things for you so that they may not get “sent up the creek” is just so so wrong. It's corrupt. You know they are going to do it to avoid a worse situation because they know that it is either “let this man have his way” or “get sent to jail and a possibly worse fate”, no inbetween.

I think he should have been charge with rape (although is that not what being charged with “sexual penetration withot consent” means?) and falsely impersonating a police officaer. He took away those women's dignity - when before they could choose what was done to their bodies, he took it away.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
ozoneocean at 11:22PM, Nov. 24, 2006
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There isn't a legal charge of “rape” here anymore apparently. I have no idea why, but there hasn't been for some time according to our judge. The sexual penetration and consent laws are probably more broad and less pejorative, so even minor abuses of consent can be prosecuted without people thinking that it wasn't nearly serious enough to warrant “rape”. Plus, violent acts (if there are any), can be tried separately, meaning more chance of a conviction.
Obsidian
Prostitutes are not looked upon favorably and can be seen as open prey for this sort of things that should know better and only deserve what came to them.
Very few on the jury felt like that, and if they did, the rest of us quickly scotched it. We weren't going to let the defence use that angle to convince us!

The point is though, that apart from the idea that he was a policeman (a vague mention each time, with no threats), and him paying less or not at all, the transactions were pretty standard in both cases, according to both girls. -again, apart from one woman saying her breasts, and vagina were touched, which she didn't like to do with clients, nor being kissed.

It was never straight forward in a “sex crime” sense… Both women were more angry about his “stand over tactic” through deceit than loss of money or even the sex itself.
That's what makes me feel that possibly the “sex” is a side issue, and if looked at in a cold, hard, mature light, if we consider prostitution as an ordinary business transaction, then this case falls into something more like extortion through fraud.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
Obsidian at 12:02PM, Nov. 26, 2006
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ozoneocean
There isn't a legal charge of “rape” here anymore apparently. I have no idea why, but there hasn't been for some time according to our judge. The sexual penetration and consent laws are probably more broad and less pejorative, so even minor abuses of consent can be prosecuted without people thinking that it wasn't nearly serious enough to warrant “rape”. Plus, violent acts (if there are any), can be tried separately, meaning more chance of a conviction.
Obsidian
Prostitutes are not looked upon favorably and can be seen as open prey for this sort of things that should know better and only deserve what came to them.
Very few on the jury felt like that, and if they did, the rest of us quickly scotched it. We weren't going to let the defence use that angle to convince us!

The point is though, that apart from the idea that he was a policeman (a vague mention each time, with no threats), and him paying less or not at all, the transactions were pretty standard in both cases, according to both girls. -again, apart from one woman saying her breasts, and vagina were touched, which she didn't like to do with clients, nor being kissed.

It was never straight forward in a “sex crime” sense… Both women were more angry about his “stand over tactic” through deceit than loss of money or even the sex itself.
That's what makes me feel that possibly the “sex” is a side issue, and if looked at in a cold, hard, mature light, if we consider prostitution as an ordinary business transaction, then this case falls into something more like extortion through fraud.


Okay that clarified some things. Here I am thinking these ladies felt like they were deeply violated by the, to me, forced sex - somewhat like date rape. I still am surprised this man did not get charged with falsely impersonating a cop. This truly is a grey area case. By involving both aspects of sex and work … eeee. What was this man's punishment? I can understand the fraud in a sexual manner charge. He needs to be punished for something sexual despite if the women felt sex was a side thing. He could pull off more of these stunts only next time he will cross the line into rape and prey on “non working women on the night”. A regular fraud charge could be raised as well, but I think since prostitution is viewed as illegal maybe that is why the judge did not allow it(unless laws are lax where you are located in that you can prostitute but only in certain areas or with a permit?)?
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
ozoneocean at 12:48PM, Nov. 26, 2006
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Obsidian
I still am surprised this man did not get charged with falsely impersonating a cop.
They tried to get him for impersonating a police officer, originally, but it was thrown out because you have to actually go around forcibly presenting yourself as one. So they got him fined for owning a replica pistol, (which is illegal, while it's legal to own real pistols, which he did as well {that's fucking bizzare}). It's illegal to own a police badge so they're going to try and get him for that too sometime later apparently.
Obsidian
What was this man's punishment?
Ahhhh, I didn't hang around for the judge's summing up, I was too sick of the whole process, once we delivered our verdict we were finally free to go. I don't think he was even sentenced then anyway (they usually stay in prison while it's worked out). But since he has five counts of the same crime, it'll all add up, whatever it is.
Obsidian
He could pull off more of these stunts only next time he will cross the line into rape and prey on “non working women on the night”.
That was our thoughts on the jury. It looked like a pattern of behaviour that we thought would escalate, so it weighed on our decision to find him guilty on all 5, even though a few thought we should only find him guilty on 4 or even 3.
Obsidian
A regular fraud charge could be raised as well, but I think since prostitution is viewed as illegal maybe that is why the judge did not allow it(unless laws are lax where you are located in that you can prostitute but only in certain areas or with a permit?)?
Prostitution is illegal but tolerated. Apparently people generally aren't arrested or fined for it unless they do something silly: there's “move on” orders, restraining orders gven in some cases etc. It's very complicated and I only know a little bit from what I learned in the trial.

I think you're right about fraud not being allowed because of the illegality implicit in the act. Hmm, there are all these aspects…

Perhaps it wasn't a very good topic for debate, it's a bit too wierd, and that's totally my fault. Thanks for having a stab at it anyway Obsidian :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:24PM
Obsidian at 5:57PM, Nov. 26, 2006
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It was a good, albeit short, debate and I enjoyed it. Grey areas need to be poked and probbed, you know? Plus hey, you were venting from being on Jury and it seems like quite an experience. That in it of itself is a good topic for debate - the power of jury and whether one is prone to act more responsibly on jury duty or let said power go to their heads. =O.o-
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:20PM
mapaghimagsik at 1:54PM, Dec. 16, 2006
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Something to consider is that sex offenders are not just put into prison. They are sex offenders for the rest of their lives.

However, if you are a 17 year old boy and have sexual contact with a 16 year old girl, you can be, and in many states *are* a sex offender.

By the way, John McCain is introducing a bill which will impose stiff penalties and fines for any site that hosts blogs or message boards which are used by sex offenders.

Enjoy.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
ozoneocean at 4:25PM, Dec. 16, 2006
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Interesting but only your first point is actually relevent. In this discussion I'm talking bout the a case I recently sat in judgment over as a member of a jury, and I am in Australia… Don't forget that the net is global: it isn't just some extension of the US.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:25PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:23PM, Dec. 16, 2006
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Sorry you can't see the relevance. Australia and the US seem to like to borrow guidelines from each others laws. And as you said, the net is global, so there's probably readers other than you that might find the tidbit helpful. Sorry if you didn't.

I pointed it out because it could have an impact on DD in general. Being as the net is global, enforcement would be hard – almost impossible, I hope, since I'd hate to see DD have to deal with the management nightmare of background checks of members.

Its also relevant because the artists and posters here probably deal with other sites in addition to DD. Other questions: Does DD have affiliates in the US? They could face some problems.

I hope that international nature of DD keeps it from being drug into the issue.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM

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