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13th January

  Fined for what exactly?...


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Man fined for paying for sex in Nottingham
Link Here
HM Courts ServiceA man who paid 30 for sex was fined 410 for an unknown offence when the case was heard by Nottingham magistrates.

A police community support officer was in plain clothes in a hot spot for prostitution , off Forest Road East, when she saw a man approach a known prostitute. She called the police and the victim was apprehended.

The man was said to be in drink. so presumably not kerb crawling, as  drink driving would surely have been cited. Ali Zaki prosecuting commented:

He said he had been in Nottingham city centre for a few drinks and went to the vice area and paid 30 for oral sex.

The victim was found guilty of soliciting to obtain sexual services of a prostitute in Forest Grove and was fined 410.

 

26th December

 Updated: Free speech upheld even on the backpage...


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CEO of Backpage.com website cleared of prostitution offences over adult service adverts posted by website users
Link Here  full story: Adult Services Ads in the US...US politicians target small ads for sex workers

backpage com logoLast month, a California judge tentatively ruled that he would dismiss charges lodged by California's attorney general against Backpage.com's chief executive and two of its former owners. After an interim scare, the judge has now issued a final judgement confirming the previous ruling and the charges have been dismissed.

The CEO, Carl Ferrer was charged with pimping a minor, pimping, and conspiracy to commit pimping in connection to online advertisements posted on the online ads portal. California's attorney general  Kamala Harris claimed that advertisements amounted to solicitation of prostitution.

However Judge Michael Bowman agreed with the defendants, including former owners Michael Lacey and James Larkin, that they were protected, among other things, by the Communications Decency Act, and hence they were not liable for third-party ads posted by others. The ruling said:

By enacting the CDA, Congress struck a balance in favor of free speech by providing for both a foreclosure from prosecution and an affirmative defense at trial for those who are deemed an internet service provider.

Update: Double Jeopardy

26th December. See  article from theguardian.com

kamala harrisCalifornia attorney general Kamala Harris is pursuing new charges against Backpage.com website

The fresh charges, which attorney general Kamala Harris claims are based on new evidence, come after an earlier case against the website was thrown out of court.

The website advertises escort services and seems t have wound up Harris who claimed that the site operated a hotbed of illicit and exploitative activity .

Harris said she had charged Backpage executives Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey and James Larkin with 13 counts of pimping and conspiracy to commit pimping. They also are charged with 26 counts of money laundering. In the latest case, filed in Sacramento County superior court, Harris claims Backpage illegally funnelled money through multiple companies and created various websites to get around banks that refused to process transactions. (This does not seem a particularly surprising, or necessarily bad thing to do).

She also alleged that the company used photos of women from Backpage on other sites without their permission in order to increase revenue and knowingly profited from the proceeds of prostitution. And from what Harris said in a statement it seems that hers is a morality campaign against sex work. Harris said:

By creating an online brothel -- a hotbed of illicit and exploitative activity -- Carl Ferrer, Michael Lacey, and James Larkin preyed on vulnerable victims, including children, and profited from their exploitation.

 

3rd December

 Update: Unsafe working conditions to be maintained for a while yet...


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The Government decides not implement the Home Affairs Committee recommendation to decriminalise soliciting and to allow sex workers to seek safety in numbers
Link Here  full story: Criminalising Paying for Sex in England and Wales...A selfish campaign to lock up men

Home Offie logoWarning: Fake News Alert: When did politicians ever care about a robust evidence base when issues of morality are at stake?

In July the Home Affairs Committee said soliciting for sex in England and Wales should no longer be a criminal offence. MPs also suggested sex workers should be able to share premises rather than risk working alone.

However such policies are way to liberal for the government and so they have commissioned another research report, no doubt hoping that it will reach a more proscriptive solution. After all there are still lots of men to jail for the heinous crime of simply trying to enjoy the pleasures of life.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said that a robust evidence base was needed before policy changes were addressed. And so another Home Office research project has been commissioned and will report back next June. Rudd commented that any government response should include:

Ensuring those involved in prostitution and sex work are safeguarded, that traffickers and those who exploit vulnerable people can be effectively targeted, and ensuring that community concerns about prostitution and sex work can be addressed.

1984 film poster: Anti Sex League

Criminalising the buying of sex

The previous British government passed a law to criminalise the purchase of sex from sex workers that are pimped or trafficked.

It is a 'strict liability' offence which means that it is not relevant that customers know or don't know whether the sex worker is controlled. ie customers could be prosecuted even there is no suggestion or clue that a sex  worker has been 'forced or coerced'

Section 53A of the amended Sexual Offences Act: Paying for sexual services of a prostitute subjected to force etc.came into force on April 1st 2010.

Northern Ireland

No further UK wide law has been passed despite a couple of scares.

Anyone convicted under the new legislation can be sentenced to a maximum of one year's imprisonment, or a fine, or both.

It is not an offence to sell sexual services. The new law also removes criminality from loitering or soliciting for the purposes of offering services as a prostitute in a street or public place. It remains an offence to keep or manage a brothel.

Campaigns:

www.prostitutescollective.net
scot-pep.org.uk

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