Frontier Justice for Sex Workers

By Jane

This article is in response to the discussion on this blog about public programs directed at preventing child sexual abuse in the sex trade. It is written by Jane, our favorite call girl, who finds well-intended programs such as the one we described recently, a ruse for other police activities.

In 2003, the US government offered grants to Arizona law enforcement agencies to investigate child prostitution and make arrests. Of course the various agencies took the grants – hundreds of thousands of dollars. After the Maricopa County Sheriff’s department received its grant they started a two-month investigation into a ongoing sex ring around the valley which was using children in their in home businesses.

In those months of investigation, both volunteers and police officers were sent into the suspects’ homes posed as clients. The volunteers were a bunch of men from around the valley with no police experience or training whatsoever. These guys just had the time of their lives at the women’s expense. In other words, they were paid, yes paid, to rape these women.

At the end of the two months, fifty-some odd women were arrested, dragged out of their homes early in the morning, many not allowed to even get dressed. Money, jewelry, cars, and homes were seized under the guise of federal laws. The people who were arrested were bruised and some had broken bones. All were transferred to a shopping center parking lot down town Arizona were they were put on a prison bus for over eight hours with no water and no restroom facility.

It was 110 degrees outside that day. It was even hotter inside the bus with no air-conditioning on.
 The ladies were fainting, some were urinating on the floor, all were left handcuffed. At one point,  the Sheriff  came on board and asked, “Are there any grandmothers here?”  When someone raised her hand, he took her off the bus and paraded her around in front of the media to take pictures while he made fun of her age and appearance.

Finally all the women were booked into the jail, fingerprinted, had blood taken, and were given shots without any explanation of what was in the shot. All were held for 23 hours in two small jail cells that were already full on their arrival. So they took turns standing. Finally, each woman was given a cup of water and a cheese sandwich.

During the incarceration, women were frequently removed from their cells and paraded down hallways in front of the men’s holding cells and asked to sit in chairs. Young, rookie police officers who had flown in to participate in the arrests, walked by the girls making comments like, “Look at that one. I wouldn’t do her if you paid me,” or “Oh, nice legs, I’d do her.” Then they would laugh.

Sounds like a foreign country, doesn’t it? But it’s not.

This fiasco (and misappropriation of funds) was implemented by Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County Arizona Sheriff. He’s the guy who hates Mexicans and gets in the paper for profiling innocent people and dragging them from their cars. He wants more funding to build concrete walls between the US and Mexico to keep people out of his country.

The women were released and ordered to appear in court, but when they responded to the summonses some weeks later, they found out all charges had been dropped.
 The charges were dropped because the attorneys retained by some of the girls had shown some some tapes to the judge. On the tapes, the police and volunteers were having sex with the girls they were entrapping.

The belongings of the ladies were never given back, even though they were not charged with any crime.

None of the ladies arrested that night were underage. In fact, most were over thirty-five years old. Believe it or not, one woman was 70 years old.

No pimps were arrested. Transsexuals and male prostitutes were not arrested. For that gang of guys who went out to hunt people down during the raid, it just wasn’t any fun dragging a naked man out of his bed at 8 a.m. and looking at his cajones. And what? No one volunteered to pose as a client for a little romp with a tranny? The police and their group of volunteers denied that they had sex with any of the girls until the incriminating tapes appeared. Sheriff Joe had egg on his face.

Sadly, most of the ladies’ lives were destroyed, families lost, and their homes were sold because their neighbors gave them such a bad time afterwards. But when the media interviewed the neighbors after the busts, none of them were aware anything was going on in these houses.

I know this to be true because I was one of those ladies.

I had to sell my dream home to get away from the harassment of neighbors who had been friendly before my arrest. I have not as yet gotten my belongings back from the police, but I won’t stop trying. Their excuse is that they are going to try and make a case against us again at some point.

None of the females in Arizona arrested by the police were children, but law enforcement spent this grant money by raiding the houses of adult sex workers who were keeping low profiles and not bothering anyone.

Property the police take from people they arrest can be sold, and the money used any way they want. 
In my humble opinion when a grant is given and used, the party spending the money should have to prove that it was used for that purpose only, not the excuse that they were looking for children at the houses they raided. If that were true, then no arrests would have taken place.

The police knew all the women were over 21, because they had posed as their clients. All these women advertise online or in the local paper with photos of themselves. There is no mention of children in the ads. And by the pictures, clearly, they themselves are not children. We certainly do not make claims that we are under 21.

When a lot of people complained about the cost of the busts and that no children had been saved, Sheriff Joe told the press that he did it because the prostitutes were giving the clients syphilis. All of us were tested and not one girl had any kind of disease or infection.

One more interesting thing is that when you look on the internet at the pictures of predators, posted by the police departments, you automatically think the person raped someone or he/she is a pedophile, but guess what? There are all kinds of definitions of Sex Offenders. For instance, all the girls who are arrested for prostitution are labeled Sex Offenders! Now that is scary!

Sheriff Joe Arpaio achieved national fame by cutting the costs of housing jail and prison inmates, by making them live in tents. He also makes them dress in pink. He keeps getting re-elected.

Ever since the government has been kicking Hispanic people out of Arizona, that state has done a nose dive. Businesses went under, spending has gone down, houses and rentals stand empty. I live in a Hispanic neighborhood and see the problems first-hand. Coyotes are more prevalent than ever, smuggling people across the borders, but not everyone can afford the $5,000 ticket for this dangerous journey. But Sheriff Joe Arpaio and others, who enjoy a simplistic approach to solving complex problems, see the solution as brutally getting rid of the workers. And they do.

I guess the wild west never dies.

My basic point is, that even if a program looks good, and has good intentions, what happens with it depends entirely on the ethics and intelligence of the agencies who get to spend the money.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
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4 Responses to Frontier Justice for Sex Workers

  1. LG says:

    This is a seven year old story.
    Anything happening in the meantime? Any changes in attitudes?
    I would guess not. Now that could make you angry.

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  4. Jane says:

    The arrest’s of adult provider’s is on going. A shift to arrests and the closing down of massage parlors across Phoenix and smaller communities has been reported in the Arizona Republic News paper recently. Same excuse the raids are on the guise of under aged workers and women being forced into prostitution were working at the establishments. November 2010 will mark the seventh year that the Sheriff’s department has been holding onto my belongings since my arrest. Myself and another lady busted that day will be going down to the police holding department to get our things back. I say good luck on that one knowing what I know now about the sneakiness of that department. I will keep everyone posted to what happens.

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