While the rest of us were getting all caught up with silliness like homicides on the streets of Mattapan and Florida as well as deadly cyber-hate crimes in New Jersey, the good folks in Needham have been lucky. Far from being diverted from fighting real crime, the intrepid Needham Police Department have risked life and limb to battle what is, after all, probably at the root of all street crime.
Well, more specifically, sex for money. That’s right, we are talking about mankind’s preeminent scourge…prostitution..
Examples of this recent stellar police work include a sting operation on March 16th. That’s right, while I was wasting your time and mine discussing aspects of cyber-bullying, multiple homicide and domestic violence trials, the NPD was shutting down two massage parlors because of alleged prostitution.
Of course, no police agency is an island and it took detective from the NPD as well as the Norfolk County Police Anti-Crime Task Force to successfully complete this criminal investigation.
While Needham Police Lt. John Schittler could not divulge the details of this daring-yet-absolutely-necessary operation, he did reveal that the operation which brought down two massage therapists, or alleged prostitutes, featured the work of an undercover police officer which must have rivaled the famous Sherlock Holmes. The two alleged sex workers, ages 46 and 50, were charged with sexual conduct for a fee and were arraigned in Dedham District Court.
“Pending the outcome of the investigation, there is the possibility of further charges being filed against a couple other individuals at each location,” announced Lt. Schittler. “The investigation will encompass every aspect of the business. We’ll look at all aspects of what transpired, and, if we determine that we have enough to push forward charges, then we would do so.”
Sure enough, less than a month later, on March 29th, as I was babbling on about multiple women being assaulted in Cambridge, Needham police nabbed a third person for prostitution. This one was 20 years of age.
Well, at least the citizenry of Needham are out of harm’s way…at least from these two addresses!
Attorney Sam’s Take On The Sex Trade, Human Trafficking And Hypocracy
A week or so ago, I saw a news story about a criminal investigation yielding the arrest of those charged with human trafficking. Far from being a victimless crime, that crime reflects some of the worst victimization that mankind has to offer when it takes place.
However, not everyone engaged in the sex trade is a sex slave.
Recently, law enforcement and our political leaders have, somewhat successfully, led us to believe that the two are synonymous. As a Boston criminal lawyer, I have represented folks in the sex trade. Many are rather intelligent people who have decided to take advantage of their own beauty and …social skills…to make some extra money to help them in other endeavors, often further education. It is true that some end up staying in the trade, perhaps because of the money, while others move on to other things.
I sometimes wonder what it is about our society that demands that they be prevented from doing this.
“Sam…it’s easy! These poor unfortunate people are forced into the trade through drugs and violence”.
Again, not nearly all of them.
“Well, what about children? What about those who are forced into it?”
That should be stopped.
“What about the issues of disease being passed around?”
That should be stopped.
“Most of these people are women. Isn’t this the exploitation and victimization of women? You know, the brutalization by pimps and johns alike. That type of thing.”
I am against that too. However, I think that the way the system is set up now, in our legal system, victimizes women and subjugates them. It also helps keep such horrible conditions, where they actually exist, continue.”
“The legal system?”
You see, so long as we keep this, the “world’s oldest profession” in the shadows of illegality, we cannot really regulate or watch over it. We know it is not going to vanish. The demand will always be there just like it has always been there. I do not see why this is so surprising in a society where we utilize sex in “legal ways” such as advertising, legal pornography and just about every other way of communication. It almost seems as if “doing it” in front of a camera, or in the media, is fine. Just don’t try this at home, kids, or we will arrest you.
But I digress. A bit.
There are countries, in fact areas within the United States, were prostitution is legal so long as certain requirements are accomplished. This is how they regulate issues like disease, brutalization, children…even taxation on the rather significant money.
“Well, we are more moral than that.”
What “morality”? Ignoring the reality that it will always exist? What is the basis of this “morality”? A religious belief about when and how sex is right? Well, if we really believed in that, pre-marital sex and various sex acts would be regularly prosecuted. Further, this legal system is supposed to be separated from religion.
What we are accomplishing is regulating what someone, usually a woman, may or may not do with her own body. I thought we agreed we cannot do that. Further, what we have set up is the necessity of their doing it, which they will, under the protection of the black market and pimps. Labeling the whole operation as “criminal” we make the unfortunate results inevitable.
Do you want to crack down on the sex slave market? I would say that that clarifying not only the issue but the playing field would go a long way in doing that.
That is, if we really wanted to.
Look at how our system is set up. Do we really?
That question aside…have a great, safe and law-abiding weekend!
For the original stories upon which this blog was based, please go to http://needham.patch.com/articles/police-spas-in-needham-prostitution-sting-to-shutter , http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/needham/2012/05/needham_police_made_their_thir.html And http://articles.boston.com/2012-03-21/yourtown/31221210_1_prostitution-massage-therapists-sexual-services