Lebanon’s sex industry: hidden in plain sight

By Ben Gilbert – GlobalPost
Published: June 17, 2010 10:21 ET in Middle East

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Twenty minutes north of Beirut, in the Christian heartland of Lebanon is Jounieh, the country’s little Las Vegas, where dozens of “super nightclubs,” Lebanon’s equivalent of strip clubs, line the main street.

Inside one club, called Excalibur, a young woman from the Dominican Republic wore white denim-shorts cut just below the crotch, stiletto heels and a tight T-shirt that stopped just above her navel. She also wore braces on her teeth.

She was in Lebanon legally, classified by immigration authorities as an “artist,” owing to the fact that she dances on stage at some point during the night. About 4000 Ukrainian, Russian and Moroccan women like her come to Lebanon every year to work in Lebanon’s adult entertainment industry, of which the estimated 130 super nightclubs in the country are a staple. Continue reading

UK: Police boost funds from assets taken in raids on prostitutes

The English Collective of Prostitutes says a ‘moral crusade’ is under way based on the mistaken belief that sex workers are all controlled by criminal gangs

Jamie Doward
The Observer, Sunday 25 April 2010

An increasing number of prostitutes who work from home, often for safety reasons, are being prosecuted, according to the organisation that represents English sex workers.

The English Collective of Prostitutes (ECP) says the women face up to seven years in prison if found guilty under brothel-keeping charges. It blames the trend on politicians leading a misplaced “moral crusade” against prostitution that it says is driving the industry further underground.

The collective says the case of Claire Finch, who will appear at Luton crown court tomorrow to deny charges of brothel-keeping, is a typical example of how changes in attitudes to prostitution have resulted in more Continue reading

Manitoba: Hotels to watch for sex exploitation

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 | 6:05 PM CT

CBC News

The Manitoba government and the provincial hotel industry are teaming up in an effort to crack down on child sexual exploitation.

Wednesday, the province said staff at hotels will be trained to spot situations where a child might be at risk of being exploited by a guest and how to notify authorities of their suspicions.

‘There should be jail time. There should be huge penalties. There should be fines’—Rebecca, a former sex-trade worker

“We’re working with the hospitality industry and putting abusers on notice that people aren’t going to look the other way when they bring these young victims into hotels,” Gord Mackintosh, the provincial family services minister said. 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

Internet fuels virtual subculture for sex trade, study finds

Published: Oct. 21, 2009 E-mail Editor

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Internet has spawned a virtual subculture of “johns” who share information electronically about prostitution, potentially making them harder to catch, according to a new study co-authored by a Michigan State University criminologist.

The research by MSU’s Thomas Holt and Kristie Blevins of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte challenges the common perception that sex customers act alone and do not interact for fear of reprisal or scorn. The study appears in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Continue reading

TX: Busting brothels proves difficult

Despite residents’ complaints, Houston officers struggle to build cases and close illegal venues
By BRIAN ROGERS
Copyright 2009 Houston Chonicle
July 6, 2009, 11:11AM

Bart Jones remains frustrated that sexually oriented businesses, including illegal brothels, are open for business in his neighborhood after authorities closed a nearby strip club earlier this year.

“There’s too much crime associated with those businesses that we don’t want to spill over into where our children play or into our neighborhood.” said Jones, president of the Briargrove neighborhood association. “It’s been our long-held hope that we could eventually run them all out.”

Jones rallied neighbors to support authorities closing the Penthouse Club at Westheimer and Winrock in January, but says another topless bar, an adult bookstore and “massage parlors” remain nearby. Continue reading

MS: Weiner denied phone records in prostitution case

Saturday, Jul. 04, 2009
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

OXFORD — Dr. Roger Weiner, a Coahoma County supervisor accused of soliciting prostitutes on SugarDaddyforMe.com, has been denied access to records from a cellular telephone apparently used by an undercover agent involved in a sting operation that led to his arrest.

U.S. Magistrate David A. Sanders on Thursday granted a motion by federal prosecutors to keep the records from Weiner for now.

Federal prosecutors say Weiner thought he was meeting two prostitutes when the FBI arrested him at the Shady Nook truck stop on May 17. Prosecutors say Weiner planned to take the women to his cabin on Moon Lake near Clarksdale. Continue reading