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  First victim...

Northern Ireland prosecutors to try their first victim of a 2015 law banning men from buying sex


Link Here 5th November 2017  full story: Sex Work in Northern Ireland...Bill to ban paying for sex

pps ni logoA Co Armagh man has become the first person to face prosecution for allegedly paying for sexual services since a law prohibiting it was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2015.

The first victim of the law is accused of attempting to buy sexual services in Dungannon, County Tyrone, in August 2016.

The Public Persecution Service (PPS) confirmed that this is the first case in which someone has been charged over allegedly paying for sex. The case is due to be heard at the end of January, following a pre-trial review taking place in December.

 

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

CEO of Backpage.com website cleared of prostitution offences over adult service adverts posted by website users


Link Here 26th December 2016  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.

 

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

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 3rd December 2016  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.

 


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