NO: Federal lawsuit challenges sex offender registration for prostitutes

Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 12:03 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 1:20 PM
By Laura Maggi, The Times-Picayune

People who must register as sex offenders because they were convicted of engaging in oral or anal sex for money filed a lawsuit against state officials last night, arguing the requirement is unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Only in Louisiana can people convicted of selling their bodies be required to register as a sex offender, according to the lawsuit filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights. The plaintiffs include several women from New Orleans and the surrounding areas, as well as transgender women and a man.

The registration requirement only affects people prosecuted under the state’s crime against nature by soliciation law, which is used when a person is accused of engaging in oral or anal sex in exchange for money. People accused of prostitution, which includes any sex act, are not required to register. Continue reading

Cambodia: Sex Workers Face Unlawful Arrests and Detention

Officials Should Investigate and Close Government Centers Where Abuses Occur
July 20, 2010

(Phnom Penh) – The Cambodian government should act quickly to end violence against sex workers and permanently close the government centers where these workers have been unlawfully detained and abused, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Human Rights Watch also urged the Cambodian government to suspend provisions in the 2008 Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation that facilitate police harassment and abuses.

Human Rights Watch’s 76-page report, “Off the Streets: Arbitrary Detention and Other Abuses against Sex Workers in Cambodia,” is based on more than 90 interviews and group discussions with female and transgender sex workers in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, and Siem Reap. It describes how sex workers face a wide range of abuses, Continue reading

Her crime? Sex work in New Orleans

By: Jordan Flaherty, Contributing Writer
Posted: Monday, January 18, 2010 10:43 am
(Special to The Louisiana Weekly from ColorLines Magazine)

Tabitha has been working as a prostitute in New Orleans since she was 13. Now 30 years old, she can often be found working on a corner just outside of the French Quarter. A small and slight white woman, she has battled both drug addiction and illness and struggles every day to find a meal or a place to stay for the night.

These days, Tabitha, who asked that her real name not be used in this story, has yet another burden: a stamp printed on her driver’s license labels her a sex offender. Her crime? Sex work.

New Orleans city police and the district attorney’s office are using a state law written for child molesters to charge hundreds of sex workers like Tabitha as sex offenders. The law, which dates back to 1805, makes it a crime against nature to engage in “unnatural copulation”-a term New Orleans cops and the district attorney’s office have interpreted to mean anal or oral sex. Sex workers convicted of breaking this law are charged with felonies, issued longer jail sentences and forced to register as sex offenders. They must also carry a driver’s license with the label “sex offender” printed on it. Continue reading

Thailand: 57 alleged prostitutes rounded up in Phuket Town

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PHUKET TOWN: A team of provincial civil defense officials and volunteer police on Sunday night raided three well-known entertainment venues, in the heart of Phuket Town, suspected of serving as fronts for prostitution.

A spokesperson from the Phuket Provincial Office Public Relations Bureau said the raids were ordered by Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop following complaints from local residents that the three venues – two massage parlors and a nightclub – were actually fronts for prostitution.

A total of 57 alleged female prostitutes, including at least one Burmese girl under the age of 18, were rounded up by the special task force led by Phuket Deputy Governor (Palad) Chaiwat Tephee, Phuket Provincial Defense Office head Wirote Suwanwong, and volunteer police. Continue reading

Houston cops crash Christmas party for hookers, johns

by Jeff McShan / 11 News
Posted on December 15, 2009 at 9:58 PM
Updated Tuesday, Dec 15 at 10:39 PM

HOUSTON — Houston police crashed a Christmas party for high-priced call girls and their customers last week at a Midtown club called Element.

Tuesday night, police were back out rounding up the men who allegedly paid for sex at the party.

“This is a party that was organized on a Web site that caters to mainly prostitution,” said Lt. C. Vasquez with HPD’s vice division.

Members of the site called ASPD.net chat about Houston escorts and even write reviews. Warnings are posted about police activity, and which escorts can be trusted.

Members must be invited to join, and then a check is done to verify their employment. Operators wanted to make sure no cops were allowed. Continue reading

Ignored by society, Afghan dancing boys suffer centuries-old tradition

By Atia Abawi, CNN
October 27, 2009 — Updated 1721 GMT (0121 HKT)

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — A young boy dressed in women’s clothing, his face caked in make-up, dances the night away for a crowd of men.

The bells on his feet chime away, mimicking the entertainment and sexual appeal of female dancers. But there is no mistaking his pubescent body and face as he concentrates, focusing on every step in order to please his master and his master’s guests.

This all played out in a video that CNN obtained from a person involved in the parties.

The boy is but one youth among many throughout the country forced into an age-old underground tradition known as “bacha bazi,” or “boy play,” in which young boys are taken from their families, made to dance and used as sex slaves by powerful men. The number of boys involved is unknown — the practice has been going on for centuries, in a country where such practices are overshadowed by conflict and war. Continue reading

UK: Policewoman turned escort jailed

A Northumbria policewoman caught advertising herself on an escort website has been jailed for 15 months.

Former Pc Victoria Thorne, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, advertised herself under a pseudonym on a website called The Notorious Girls.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 28-year-old, who earlier admitted misconduct, worked as a £100-an-hour prostitute for two years.

A police investigation found she had links to brothel operators.

She appeared along with five other defendants who had earlier admitted charges related to the running of brothels.

Sentencing Thorne on Thursday, Judge John Evans told her: “It is plain that those who thought they knew you, and knew you well, are at a loss as to how you came to be involved in such a seedy world.” Continue reading