Donna M. Hughes: R.I.’s carnival of prostitution

01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Providence Journal

AFTER MY EXPERIENCE at the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, I believe Rhode Island is headed for a human rights disaster and nationwide political embarrassment. It is becoming apparent that the Senate is not going to pass a much-needed prostitution bill. Rhode Island will continue to have an expanding number of spa-brothels, prostitution of minors in clubs, and no law that will enable the police to stop it.

The hearing (on Senate bill 0596, to close the loophole allowing indoor prostitution) was a sordid circus, with pimps and prostitutes coming forward to oppose the legislation. Continue reading


Montreal: Group aims to save legacy of Montreal’s red light district

Thursday, June 18, 2009
Lina Harper

MONTREAL / City threatens demolition of historic bar

IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE. Café Cleopatra hosts a monthly fetish night called Club Sin.
(Michel Laloux photo)

A proposed development in Montreal’s red light district has jeopardized the future of a neo-burlesque strip joint used by members of the queer community.

The proposal would see Café Cleopatra, the oldest show bar in town, demolished to make way for a 12-storey office building and a strip of retail stores on St Laurent Boulevard. Three other buildings are also slated for destruction if the city allows the development to proceed.

Café Cleopatra has always attracted people who don’t fit society’s norms, says owner Zoumboulakis. “We have room for the alternative, the different. For the people [who] want to express himself or herself differently. Especially the transvestites, the transsexuals,” he says, referring to the bar’s popular second floor shows. Continue reading

Vancouver: Back when the West End had sex worker strolls

Thursday, June 18, 2009
Jeremy Hainsworth

QUEER HISTORY / Pushing the hookers out ‘desexualized and sanitized’ the gaybourhood: researcher

Newcomers to Vancouver’s West End often curse the traffic circles and multiple street blockages, believing them to be misguided traffic-calming measures.

It’s not why they’re there.

They were put in to stop johns trolling for hookers.

HOOKERS ON DAVIE. Jim Deva remembers the lively days of hookers on Davie St well. He says it was part of what made the West End fabulous. ‘It was electric and magical.’ The award-winning documentary screens Jul 2. (West End Sex Trade Memorial Project)

They’re artifacts of the mid-1980s when the city began pushing the prostitutes — straight, trannie and gay — out of the safety of the West End, forcing them onto the dangerous strolls of Richards St and the then-bleak warehouse district now known as chic Yaletown. Continue reading

Vancouver: Two men charged with brothel murder

Sing Tao A1/A2, Ming Pao A1/A2, World Journal A17

The papers reported in prominent coverage the murder of a Chinese-Canadian man believed to the operator of an underground brothel in Yaletown. Two suspects, also Chinese-Canadians, have been charged with a number of related offences. The papers also describe in details how brothels are run in the Lower Mainland.

Vancouver: Downtown brothels difficult to detect, according to expert
p. 4.

There’s no telling how many high-rise brothels may be in Vancouver, according to one expert.

UBC Faculty of Law assistant professor Benjamin Perrin, an expert on human trafficking, says condos — such as the one in Yaletown where 29-yearold Jeffrey Bian was stabbed to death June 11 — make for great illegal brothels.

“They blend into the community, which makes it difficult for police to identify, and offers johns a higher level of discretion,” he said.

Perrin wasn’t fazed to learn the suspects in Bian’s murder may have been robbing a number of brothels across the city. “There’s a great deal of money being made,” he said.

“It’s not surprising they would become the target of armed robberies, just like grow-ops are.”

Vancouver police told media Monday that the nature of the businesses means robbery victims are unlikely to come forward.

Perrin says Crime Stoppers operators were recently trained in human trafficking and the sex trade, and offered the anonymous tip line as an alternative — especially for women forced into the trade and looking for protection.


Vancouver: Mona remembered

p. 4.


When Pamela Masik returned to Vancouver from the New York Art Academy, she realized the story she needed to tell was right in front of her.

The svelte artist spent four sometimes-tumultuous years creating a series of 69 eight-foot by 10-foot portraits of women who had gone missing from the Downtown Eastside.

“When I would leave the studio and wake up the next morning the first thing on my mind was the women I was painting,” she said. “Many times I would break down in the studio not thinking I could get through it. I’d actually get sick and pass out.”

Masik unveiled her portrait of Mona Wilson, a 26-year-old aboriginal woman who Robert Pickton was convicted of killing after she went missing in 2001, at the Terminus building in Gastown.

The artist also announced her involvement in an arts program sponsored by the Union Gospel Mission.

“If I can change the life of one woman who’s using the shelter that’s my purpose,” Masik said.

And of the portrait of Wilson said Masik, “She’s my sister. They all are.”


OC Mom Admits Running High End Prostitution Ring

8:03 AM PDT, June 24, 2009

SANTA ANA — A mother of two pleaded guilty to charges of operating a multi-million dollar online prostitution ring that advertised L.A. area porn stars, models, and actresses.

31 year old M. B. pleaded guilty to money laundering and transporting a person from Orange County to New York City for purposes of prostitution, changing her previous not-guilty plea which was entered on May 11th in front of a federal court in Santa Ana.

B. is accused of running her online company, “Global Travel Network Inc.” as a front for prostitution, according to court records. Continue reading