11/29/03 BUST UPDATE:

Forfeiture Laws Being Used All Over U.S.
Against sexworkers Even if never charged!

While criminal charges have been dropped for now, there may be a major issue about getting seized property back. Amazingly the civil forfeiture laws especially in Arizona means property can be kept even if person is NEVER criminally charged or charges dismissed. I assume this is why attorney Bob Jung on the List has indicated he is now fighting to get clients property back.

Update: Various attorney's have advised clients its virtually useless to fight to get cash property back even with the charges all dismissed!  I know of one provider who lost $3000 in cash she had at home.  She knows another provider that had $30,000 cash in her home with was forfeited again with all charges dismissed!

In Arizona, the attorney general's office has unabashedly proclaimed that the mission of Arizona's forfeiture laws is "'social engineering' accomplished through government intercession in commercial activity harmful to the economy as a whole." When such a broad official charter for forfeiture is combined with the unique litigation advantages that forfeiture law already offers to law enforcement, a powerful engine of government power is unleashed.". Source CATO institute good article at http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-179es.html

Law enforcement chooses civil forfeiture because the deck is stacked against property owners.  In civil proceedings, for instance, the government only needs to prove the property’s connection to allegedly criminal activity by a mere “preponderance of evidence” standard, not proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” as in criminal cases.   Because it is the property itself that is the target of the lawsuit, the owner of the property need not be convicted of or even charged with any criminal activity for the government to forfeit the property.   Indeed, one study found that approximately 80% of persons whose property was seized by the federal government for forfeiture were never even charged with a crime.  Moreover, property can be forfeited even if someone used the property without the owners’ knowledge or consent.

In most states, forfeiture provisions are tied to specific criminal statutes such as drug or prostitution laws

In ennis v. State of Michigan the government successfully forfeited a woman’s car when her husband, unbeknownst to her, used it to engage the services of a prostitute. 

The system creates a perverse incentive structure for law enforcement officials.  The intent of such laws was to deprive criminals of their ill-gotten property and cash and then use those proceeds to enforce the very laws the wrongdoers violated.  The unintended consequence of this effort, however, was that many officials now view raising revenue—not enforcing the law fairly and justly—as the primary goal of their activities.  A recent study found that “numerous law enforcement agencies now rely on forfeitures to fund a significant part of their operations.”

At the county level, prosecutors distribute forfeited assets and proceeds for a wide variety of supposed law enforcement purposes, from new vehicles to conference and travel expenses, at the discretion of the county prosecutor.

Source: Institute For Justice at http://www.ij.org/media/private_property/new_jersey/background.shtml

In Arizona the law is 13 A.R.S. 4311 Judicial in rem forfeiture proceedings

I have done an extensive webpage regarding this important issue at: http://www.sexwork.com/legal/forfeiturelaw.html 

11/27/03 Update - The Phoenix Bust "Operation House Call" - Busts have been busted

While this applies to the Phoenix bust (details below) it may be of broader interests. Phoenix is a VERY conservative city, a few days ago a Chan 5 I-team investigation showed how vice cops spent $22000 at strip clubs looking for the slightest illegal touch, including dancers touching their own breasts on stage which is a criminal offense in Phoenix.

On 11/13 we had huge bust of private sexworkers. Now all charges have been dropped. Maybe other cities in the U.S. might learn. The public was outraged about the police resources spent on busting PRIVATE sexworkers. I was wonderfully astonished that even conservative media was calling it a publicity stunt of our Sheriff Joe. Here is latest news:

Special Bulletin - Phoenix Private List
In time for Thanksgiving-

Re: The Phoenix Bust "Operation House Call" - Busts have been busted

While the bust by 350 law officers of private sexworkers after a 2 month sting operation led all the local TV news shows I wonder if any will report that it seems all the about 80 cases have been tossed.

Hope to get more information for the Sunday night Private List Update but, Here is post from lawyer active on the Private List on the Private List Discussion Board. I had posted that at least two providers had charges dropped (Nina and "Ms Canada") but didn't know why or if all about 80 folks charges were tossed.

Here is response:

It looks like nobody is getting charged out of this bullshit show put on by Sheriff Joe. I am now going to attempt to get all the property back for my clients. We will see how that goes. I'm not sure if no charges are being filed because the county attorney recognizes that this is a joke, or because they are too busy.

Also, I am seeking people interested in pursuing legal action against the sheriff's office and the county for false arrest, harassment, etc., etc., for all the crap they put people through just so Joe could get his face on TV.

People's lives were ruined by this, and he needs to pay. If anyone is interested, please PM me or call me (deleted contact info on non-Phoenix or public boards)
Dave in Phoenix, founder Phoenix Private List Community since 1996

In Phoenix - Operation House Call - Maybe Biggest Private Adult Prostitution Bust in U.S. History
Public Internet Version of Update to Phoenix Private list Members sent from Canada where I am enjoying their adult freedoms on November 16, 2003.

On November 13, 2003 in Phoenix and surrounding cities, Sheriff Joe used 350 officers to arrest 72 non street victims of his two month long sting with cops paying for sex, getting nude but not having sex, in what may be the largest single day bust of private adults on prostitution charges in U.S. history (MSNBC reports). This publicity stunt has become very controversial and may backfire against Sheriff Joe. However our main concern is for the victims of his stunt.

Private List member Robert R. Jung, criminal attorney has posted a good legal overview and offer to help victims of this morality raid on the Phoenix Private Discussion Board. He has indicated there may be other actions that can be taken regarding this publicity stunt but at the moment he is focused on representing clients caught in the sting doing what ever he can to get their charges dismissed.

This will be a LONG report, including my ideas for suggested Call to Action as well as reporting a summary of what most folks in Phoenix probably know. But there are also many List members not in Phoenix who may not be aware what is going on. I will also be posting most of this (probably all except the names of known victims) on sexwork.com.

Even though I have been in Canada all the time, I have tried to keep up with the news. I have E-mailed Sheriff Joe and New Times (my letters and others included in this report). I have not seen the TV reports of course but am including some comments from those that have. My TiVo does record 2 local news reports a night so I will review those reports when I return to Phoenix late this Fri Nov 21st.

Summary of Busts for anyone not aware especially those not in Phoenix
I am enjoying Canada where like most of the world this would not be a crime but while I am enjoying Canada, In Phoenix they busted 72 (45 private escorts and 27 customers) on November 13, 2003 from newspaper ads. Mug shots of some are on our fearless Sheriff's website who boosts he is a "full service, all crime buster".

There has been questions raised in the local media about the value of using over 300 cops to do such an operation which also caught some well known customers including Robert Stapley, brother of Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley, R-District 2 of Mesa, who was arrested on suspicion of solicitation. Don's comment was that yes his brother needs help and wants the families privacy protected. No he doesn't need help, other than legal, he is perfectly normal seeking sexual variety from a sex worker like normal well adjusted men do all over the world, with no legal risk in most countries when done in private, except in the U.S.

"During a news conference, Sheriff Arpaio defended the sweep and called it just as valid as chasing murderers. "We're a full-service law enforcement agency," he said. "We go after everybody."He said prostitution, which some consider a victimless crime, brings in diseases, crime, guns, drugs and domestic violence. We are the leading county in the United States for syphilis, and the health department is very concerned about that." "I think a lot of people will be shocked to learn about what's been going on right next door," Arpaio said. "Street walkers are one thing. But an illicit sex business in an ordinary neighborhood with children all around is unacceptable. I don't think most parents want the kind of clientele these businesses attract near their children.."

Dave comments, Challenge and Call to Action
What on earth is any connection to crimes, guns or domestic violence? He should be challenged on these statements including Letters to the Editor of the local newspapers. Since I am in Canada I don't have access to see what is in the papers but will catch up when return. On drugs, yes it is too bad a few escorts mix drugs into it, but again I bet the incidence of drug use is in line with the general population. Risk to neighborhood kids? Yeah sure the clients are everyone's neighbors! His statement are totally without merit and he needs to be challenged on these outrageous justifications.

Of course being outrageous is part of Joe's publicity stunts. For long list of truth's about his false claims and self glorification see http://www.arpaio.com/truth.htm. It concludes, " He has cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees, lawsuits, attorneys fees, settlements, judgments, photographs of himself, videos of himself, and maintaining his personal public relations staff."

Apparently, the sting called "Operation House Call" started two months ago when undercovers called 96 ads in the papers and finding 95 alleged to offer illegal sex... they apparently fanned out many officers throughout the community and delayed making the busts until they had deeply infiltrated the community.

MSNBC is reporting it may be the largest single day prostitution raid in U.S. history and Sheriff Joe promises more to come. His guys get nude with provider before busting and then have female officers pretend to be the women in the ads to bust customers that call. See http://www.msnbc.com/local/AZTRIB/M339041.asp?0LA=ajk9n

News report on busts:

Make this an Opportunity - Call to Action
In a "Voice of the Valley" poll conducted by channel 12, only 3% thought that the sheriff should be focused on prostitution. 41% said Meth labs, 22% Rural Crime 11% stolen cars.

On AzCentral.com poll which just asked if the busts were a good thing for the Sheriff to do, 69% said NO!

Action idea 1: I suggest writing letters to newspaper editors, expressing view how there is no real risk in private sexwork, legal in most of the world without the concerns of Sheriff Joe and a waste of police time and resources to interfere with the private acts of consenting adults in private. Also letters to Sheriff Joe and newspapers to challenge him to release the STD test data related to number of all STD's found vs the rate for the normal population. AZ Republic reports: "Of those arrested Thursday, 37 women and 12 men were tested for syphilis; one woman had the sexually transmitted disease." I don't have the data but 1 in 49 is not a high number compared to overall population. Granted this is not a large enough sample to draw any proof but only 1 positive seems to discredit his high risk of syphilis contention.
IkneadU said: We can all sleep a little easier tonight knowing... that there's that many less people less people going to be enjoying themselves tonight. Lord knows that adults having sex in privacy endangers everyone! A man may happily go home to his family with a big smile and a woman may be able to pay her bills and care for her family. How awful! (It would be so much better if that man went home and beat his wife out of frustration and that woman couldn't pay her bills and ended up out on the street!) Thank goodness Sheriff Joe and his posse are able to stop those horrible people from having some healthy adult pleasure! I feel so much safer. Now if only someone could save us from the REAL danger... people interfering with or taking away our most PERSONAL ADULT RIGHTS!

What the hell ever happened to our right to the 'pursuit of happiness'??? I don't know about you but sex makes me reeeeal happy! How is it that just because of some others who can't handle their own sexuality everyone else should have to do without? Are we going to keep sitting around bitching about it or is this latest bunch of crap enough to get us to do something?
Action Idea 2:
Depending on the case results and legal advice all those busts could be an opportunity for victims to band together with a friendly lawyer and if they should lose in Phoenix Courts they could consider be a large test case on appeal based on privacy rights under latest Supreme Court decision on gays. This could be a coordinated effort with some national support potential with donations to a "Right to Privacy Morality Law Supreme Court Challenge". At least we are possibly at an advantage being in the 9th Circuit Court District which is the most liberal Appellate Court in the U.S., where an appeal would first be heard if morality law victims lose in Phoenix Courts. But this will be a long and costly process. Victims and their attorneys will first be doing all they can legally to defeat the charges in the Phoenix courts.

It might be helpful if many of the victims use the same lawyer such as Bob Jung,480-704-5030 who has been highly recommended by many providers in the past (see his note on Private List Discussion Board).
The Publicity Stunt Victims:
I am getting lots of E-mail asking me who was a victim of the sting. To provide a clearing house of information, I have posted who we know and see if we can separate fact from speculation on the Private List Discussion Board.

At first I thought privacy should be considered, on the other hand it will all be public information and I consider those busted as victims of Sheriff Joe's prank and that we should support those who provide a valuable needed service which is legal in most of the world, except the U.S. This time they didn't go after street hookers that are a public nuisance but private sexworkers and their clients that are mostly honest, law abiding citizen whose "crime" is based on morality laws that violate our rights to privacy and "freedom to have pleasure" which could be a constitutional challenge issue.

None of the victims I know of have been active on the Private List, but of those that have been rarely reviewed or that I at least recognize include:

Names deleted for public version for privacy

I have had E-mails saying they say some of the others listed above, often in a quite distraught state on TV report, when they were in the media frenzy with all the cameras due to Sheriff Joe's making sure it was a major media event.

If they look terrible in their mug shots or on TV, remember most were arrested at their homes around 8am, had to endure cops searching their homes for evidence, address books etc. Then female cops took over their phones and set up apportions with customers that called and arrested them when they showed up. The sexwork victims were eventually stashed in trailers at Park Central Mall until about 8pm to be sure they didn't warn friends while the round up was underway and there phones were being worked by female cops. As "R" (not involved) wrote to me, "they had the swat team and all out across the street from us it is was horrible they held all those girls on a bus till 6:00pm that night and they will continue for a few more days ... They went around and knocked on doors and busted they also worked the phones when they got in and pulled the guy's in..."

Once they were booked into Madison Street Jail after 8pm, they were not allowed to post bail until they submit to tests for sexually transmitted diseases under the Quarantine Act, a new state requirement. It was a very terrifying experience I am sure and Terrorist Joe might be an appropriate name.

Personally I hate it when a sexworker simply lies and denies anything is going on so emotionally. The real issue is the morality laws not making men who seek sex some horrible animal that needs help. For example, Jacquelyn Valrie, one of three women detained at La Palma Massage, 1747 N. Alma School Road, Mesa, denied being a prostitute. "I just want to cry," Valrie said. "I want out of this business. It's too much trouble." The majority of the men who visit massage parlors want sex instead, Valrie said. "They all need to talk to their wives and get some help," Valrie said.

Of course getting sexworkers who offer a benefit to a society being scared out of business is the purpose of the enforcement of these morality crimes. And no the men don't need help the are just expressing normal sexual desires like in virtually all cultures in all of the history of mankind, where it has not been such a terrible thing.
I am getting E-mail from folks asking "what to do"? My response:

My take is for the next 6-12 months may be the safest time at least for LE sting risk to do business. With such a bust tying up over 300 officers, the clogged up Courts and paperwork, I doubt anything more will happen soon. But both newspaper and websites are at risk as in the past. Providers have to be very selective with clients and especially not say the wrong thing by E-mail or phone. It is amazing that in this bust it was reported that 95 of 96 bust victims said the wrong thing on the phone to undercover vice cops. Most importantly nothing sexual should be exchanged for money only time and companionship can be compensated for in the U.S.

I asked IkneadU about her calls from her newspapers ads - maybe she was the 1 in 96 that didn't say something wrong to the cops. She says, "Now most of the 'idiot calls' come from LE or Joe's boys asking stupid/rude questions like, "Do you do that nude?", "Do you give blow jobs?", "How much is a topless?" There's been a lot of that going on lately and I wonder what kind of people are dumb enough to answer these questions?! (Guess I should ask the ones in jail! LOL)"

Obviously I'm bias, but the only safe place has been the Private List with no active members involved and LE saying at one point they can't use the List even for leads. Crossing fingers of course but with all the LE activity in the last 6 years there has never a problem related or traced to the Private List.
Dave's nicer time in Canada
I am doing my usual zillions of reports posted on 2 Canadian boards and of course my www.sexworkniagarafalls.com on great experiences mostly the great strip clubs and massage, but also some great escorts since Canada doesn't have the morality laws of the U.S. and everything I do is totally legal.
I DO NOT recommend anyone offer or participate in any illegal for compensation sexual activity. In the U.S. you can only pay for legal companionship. In Canada, most of Europe, Australia, Asia, and most of the rest of the world where there are consenting adult rights, even prostitution is legal. But in the U.S. I do not recommend any illegal paid for sexual activity due to our morality laws that serve no public purpose and violate the rights of individual private consenting adults.
I have heard reports as the Bust is being widely discussed. I have heard from others:

Before this was started the County Atty's office told Joe they would not file formal complaints, unless it had to do with something other then prostitution. So yes this was all a waste of time, and nothing but a big Joe Show!!!!.
Posted By MCSO Detective on November 14, 2003 - Joe used every detective he had on this, even all the dist guys. 'REAL' criminals, relax sex does sale. As long as your name is Joe from the 5 O'clock funnies.
According to Channel 10, the number is now up to 350, 150 "employees" and 200 posse used. I kind of want to know why joe didn't use the manpower for the thousands of warrants that are backlogged at MCSO, instead of going after the prostitutes!? We ALL know that 72 people involved in prostitution are more dangerous than the thousands with warrants for crimes like burglary, assault, domestic violence, robbery, attempted homicide, DUI, drugs......
Nice publicity stunt, but...
As Arpaio publicity stunts go, this prostitution round-up was a fairly good idea. It had "sex appeal," was conducted during the TV rating "sweeps" period, and the suspects were paraded in front of cameras at the command center set up in a shopping mall parking lot. But it is not working out quite the way the Arpaio publicity team has hoped. Many callers to radio talk-shows were critical of the manpower intensive operation. Channel 12 covered the event, but then reported that a survey showed only 3% of citizens thought the Sheriff's Office should concentrate on prostitution. And then...and this one is really good...Channel 5 did an I-team report questioning if the Arpaio raids were really going after the right people, like the pimps and those that bring foreign girls here and force them into prostitution as indentured servants. The report concluded with the statement that "other valley law enforcement agencies" are concerned that Arpaio's "high-profile" actions can interfere with their on-going (and more serious) investigations. Somebody gets it.

Chan 12 also interviewed a lawyer who said this could lead to a bunch of civil cases, as it done for "publicity" and little more.
Joe on KTAR Radio
One of the things Joke harped about how was this was financed by money confiscated from drug dealers, and not from "public funds".. Seems to me that the "confiscated funds" had become public funds, when the government confiscated it! Also, I wonder if the $15,000 or so he talks about is what was passed on to the "suspects", or includes the cost of all the manpower (pay and benefits). He showed about $30,000 in money collected at his press conference on the raids, but was he responsible for $15,000 of it? (did he pay $15,000 to the suspects so that his people could get naked with them!?)
What about the 55,000 outstanding warrants that his office does not have the man power to serve. That would have netted ten times as much or more money.
I listened to the Preston Westmoreland talk show on KTAR Thur. evening and again Friday afternoon. He is not your most liberal kind of guy but he was very much against the raids and said prostitution should be legalized. Of all the calls that came in the two days I only heard two that were in support of the raids and they were both cops that preached the attached evils of drugs, theft, disease and organized crime. (that seems to be a key phrase "organized crime" don't they realize the best way to get ride of "organized crime" (who do you girls I see work for?) is to not make it a crime. But back to the point. Every other caller I heard, including many women, were opposed to chasing after prostitutes and many felt it should be legal.
I was listening to KFYI and the majority, of the obviously informed callers, said they could care less about this stunt and were more concerned about Arpaio costing the taxpayers millions of dollars. Of course there were still a few Sun City old fogies that still haven't seen the light and call the Joke a "hero".
Excerpt from Editorial from East Valley Tribune:
The question nonetheless arises as to whether beating on prostitutes and their pathetic clientele (talk about ignorance and being judgmental!) with the hard hand of state police power is the right way to steer them away from their squalid commerce. Moreover, there's something more than a bit distasteful about the evident pride Schneidmiller seemed to take in the extremes to which his outfit will go in its quest — including allowing deputies to “be nude” in order to gull their targets into offering sex for a price.

Additionally, in an age of covert warfare by radical Islamic terrorists against Americans in our cities and open warfare by people-smuggling Mexican “coyotes” against each other on our freeways, surely there are more pressing priorities for law enforcement resources than rounding up people engaging in commercial naughtiness behind closed doors.

Criticism like this editorial and serious questions asked by reporters have angered Arpaio.I saw him on TV saying that "he should not be criticized, he should be commended" for the raids. He was visibly upset.
Soldiers using prostitutes OK with Arpaio?
There was a story on Channel 12 this morning about deputies answering the phones at houses of prostitution and encouraging customers to "come on over." When one caller asked if it was OK to bring his buddy that had recently returned from Iraq, the deputy said "no, don't bring him." When asked about this Arpaio said "we don't send guys like that to jail." So, only middle and upper class, civilians should be arrested?
Sheriff who prostitutes himself for a little publicity
Avoiding a high-speed pursuit of prostitutes
E.J. Montini
Popular Republic columnist
Nov. 16, 2003
The sheriff thought for sure that I would go for the hookers. "I'm telling you, E.J., I got something coming up this week that you're just going to love," Joe Arpaio told me a few days before his big prostitution roundup. "I guarantee you that you'll be all over this one. You're going to find out what I did, then you're going to slam me in the paper, and I'm going to have to send you a pizza."

It's a tradition, the pizza thing. This is a town with few traditions, and so a few years back the sheriff of Maricopa County decided to start one with a hack from the local paper. It begins when the sheriff pulls some sort of ridiculous stunt under the guise of fighting crime or protecting the community, when the actual purpose is to draw as much media attention to the sheriff as possible.

Each time, the stunt works beautifully. The sheriff gets on TV. He gets articles in all of the papers. He gets praised as the toughest sheriff in American by callers to local talk radio programs and by newspaper letter writers. After that, I take a moment in print to call a cheap stunt a cheap stunt.

And, finally, the sheriff sends me a pizza. He used to send me a pizza with anchovies on it, knowing that I don't like anchovies. But over the years (and given the fact that anchovy pizzas go largely uneaten), the tradition evolved to the point where the sheriff now includes a note saying that he could have ordered anchovies but out of the goodness of his heart did not. Often, he'll also mention something positive about the publicity stunt. For example, the prostitutes.

On Thursday, the sheriff staged a big roundup of prostitutes and their johns just in time for sweeps week at all of the local television stations. It generated lots of coverage and very little news, which is just the way the sheriff likes it. "So, are you going to slam me?" the sheriff wanted to know.

No. I'm not. Unlike some of the gentlemen caught up in the sheriff's sting operation, I am not going for the hookers. In part, it's because a better story is the one about the sheriff who prostitutes himself for a little publicity and the local media who are his ever-eager johns. But that's not all.

Rather than follow our usual script, I'm choosing to break with tradition and not "slam" the sheriff. Instead, I've decided to do something that I know Sheriff Arpaio will REALLY hate: praise him.

Even worse, I'm going to praise him for doing something that he didn't want to do. A few days before the prostitution busts, Sheriff Arpaio announced that he was altering his department's car pursuit policy. Up until then, Arpaio had been a vehement defender of high-speed chases, even those that resulted in the death of innocent people. After such an incident killed a woman, he told me, "We have a great policy. I'm not going to back down on our policy. It's unfortunate what happened, but we have a great policy."

Last week he changed his mind, nudged perhaps by a $17 million notice of claim filed against the Sheriff's Office after a pursuit accident in January left two people dead. And perhaps as well - at least I'd like to believe so - by the words of people such as Liz Rice, whose 23-year-old daughter, Jennifer, was killed in 1996 when a couple of car thieves fleeing from sheriff's deputies ran a red light and slammed into her. The new policy restricts high-speed chases.

"He did it," Liz said the day after the pursuit policy was changed. "He (the sheriff) was certainly forced into it. But he made the change. That's the important thing."

Not to Arpaio, of course. I spoke with him about the new rules for pursuit on the same day that he was dropping hints about the big prostitution bust that he had planned. "It really bugs me, changing the pursuit policy," he said. "But what can you do? Sometimes you just have to do things."

Then he switched the subject to hookers. That's what he wanted to talk about. As far as Arpaio is concerned, it's a matter of priorities. Arresting a bunch of suspected prostitutes and johns will get a sheriff's face splashed all over the TV. The only thing that changing a pursuit policy will do is save a few lives.
Needed to stop "Moral Decay"
Countywide sex arrests fuel debates
Vice raid attracts national interest
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 15, 2003
A countywide sex raid created national interest Friday as people debated the wisdom of targeting what many consider a victimless crime. As Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio showed off confiscated sex toys, magazines and even an automated teller machine, a radio show in Illinois talked about Thursday's raid that nabbed 49 women and 27 men.

Reactions in the Valley were across the board.Many people echoed the sentiment of Randy Westfall of Peoria: "To have tied up 400 officers on 72 arrests, for a CRIME that cannot be stopped is living proof Sheriff Joe is overmanned and has too much money to blow," Westfall wrote in an e-mail. "Next November can't get here soon enough."

But others felt that Operations "House Call" and "Destiny" were worthwhile. "As a woman, it's hard to look at is as a victimless crime," said Rebecca Keller of Phoenix. She said the men were treated "much lighter" by covering their faces when the media arrived and only being arrested for misdemeanors. "The clients should be punished just as severely as the prostitutes themselves."

Vice detectives across the Valley scoffed at the notion that law enforcement agencies shouldn't go after prostitutes and johns. "That's a copout in my estimation because you're trying to say this isn't a problem," said Phoenix police Lt. Larry Jacobs, who heads the vice division. "This is a problem. As soon as you allow prostitution to start occurring, there's a moral decay."

He listed drug abuse, violence from pimps, lower property values and a rise in burglaries as crimes that move in where prostitution takes hold. Phoenix has 12 detectives and two sergeants working vice full-time."We do street prostitution almost on a daily basis. We do customer apprehension programs, which is going after the johns," Jacobs said. "We do massage parlors undercover." In the past year, two women working as escorts were murdered, Jacobs said. Six prostitutes were slain by a serial killer. Many times johns are robbed by the prostitutes, and many times prostitutes are assaulted, Jacobs said. (Dave notes I wish they would keep mixing up the world of street hookers with private consenting adult sexworkers, who don't have pimps, like those victims of the sting where non of this crap applies! The two murdered escorts may have not been work related and it not the fault of their profession but of criminals)

Beyond that, the wives of men who visit prostitutes are at risk. "I get the calls from the wives and how it adversely affects their lives," he said. Some run into financial troubles, others get diseases brought home by the men.

At a press conference Friday with Arpaio, Correctional Health Services Director Joe Scalzo said syphilis is a major health problem. He said Maricopa County ranks second nationally in cases of syphilis being transmitted to unborn children and ninth nationally in cases of syphilis.

Tests for syphilis
Of those arrested Thursday, 37 women and 12 men were tested for syphilis; one woman had the sexually transmitted disease.

Some Valley residents questioned whether the resources shouldn't have been spent on such crimes as homicide, domestic violence, burglaries and drugs. Others questioned why the Sheriff's Office didn't spend the time on serving outstanding warrants.

Detectives say every agency has to prioritize resources. In Mesa, the priority now is neighborhood drug activity, said Cmdr. Steve Toland, who heads the special investigations unit. The detectives respond to complaints about prostitution activity or when they notice an increase.

"I would say yes, it's a concern. But it's one where, based on manpower, we have to look and say, 'What are our priorities,' " Toland said. Detective Sam Bailey, a spokesman for the Scottsdale Police Department, said that city doesn't see much prostitution. (No its all private not many street hookers to "see")

No comparison
Bailey added that local police departments balk at comparisons to the Sheriff's Office. "He does their thing and we do ours," he said. "It's a crime that we deal with just like other crimes, but it certainly isn't a homicide, it isn't like meth labs. That's where we like to devote our resources." Scottsdale police did crack down on illicit massage parlors this past summer and arrested at least five women on suspicion of prostitution.

Arpaio on defense
Arpaio, defending the eight-week operation, said his deputies have the highest rate of meth seizures in the Valley and "outgun" everyone else in murder clearances. "If you think we're going to surrender and not enforce the law, I've got news for you," Arpaio said.

Sgt. Randy Force, a Phoenix police spokesman, said people who consider prostitution a victimless crime are unaware of the sordid reality. "They just picture the old-fashioned Western brothel where the cowboy saunters up the stairs and comes down a half-hour later with a smile on his face," Force said. "That's not the way it works in the real world."
Write Sheriff Joe at http://www.mcso.org/submenu.asp?file=public

IkneadU wrote:
I sent the following to his office (and yes, I gave my name and email account so he'll know where to find me)

Sheriff, focus on the things that the public has made very clear are most important to have stopped like murders, rape, gangs, drugs, domestic violence and all of the many other REAL crimes that ENDANGER and TAKE lives!!!! I know, this would be a whole lot more dangerous to fight because they may shoot at you! It's a whole lot safer and easier (and much more fun) to play "trap the prostitute" because you can get naked, groped and maybe even rubbed if you're lucky! LOL) You forget that you are a servant of the citizens who elected you and that you are there to protect us. I don't feel the least bit threatened by some guy paying a woman for sex. I'm glad that he's getting his needs met without having to go rape someone and she's able to pay her bills and not be on welfare. I'm afraid of all of the unsolved murders going on that I hear we don't have the resources to handle!!! Why on earth would you think that two consenting adults exchanging sex for money is more important to go after than murder????

You say that if a law is on the books it should be enforced. When are you going to enforce the law about possession of more than two dildoes in a household??? I've never heard of you busting anyone for that. How about cutting down cacti? It's a possible 25 year sentence...when ya gonna send a posse out to protect those cacti???? After all, the laws ARE 'on the books' ;o)

When you can read the papers and watch the news and never hear about home invasions, meth labs, beatings, shootings, stabbings, rapes, child abuse or any other violent or life threatening crimes THEN you can waste our money and resources on things that shouldn't be a crime to begin with... like the cacti, dildoes and prostitution.
SEND COMMENTS TO Maricopa Sheriffs Office Public Comments page at
Dave in Phoenix Wrote:
Sheriff Office - Re Prostitution
Many of us in the sex positive community resent your assertions which are totally untrue of professional, in private consenting adult sexworkers. I suggest such sexworkers (not street hookers which I am totally against) have a lower STD rate than the general public, often enhance marriages and provide a valuable service to a society.

Private consenting adult sexwork is legal in virtually all the world accept the U.S. See "What countries have legal prostitution?" at http://www.sexwork.com/coalition/whatcountrieslegal.html

The anti-sex laws of the U.S. are based on a religious right agenda that supports these morality laws, which ironically doesn't even have any biblical basis. See "Prostitution Is Not a Biblical Conflict" (common prostitution) at http://www.sexwork.com/coalition/christian.html part of my Decriminalize Prostitution Now Coalition with zillions of articles about why consenting adult sexwork should be decriminalized at http://www.sexwork.com/coalition/index.html

While I live in Phoenix, I never pay for sexual pleasure or promote anything illegal. I enjoy the freedoms of Canada where like most of the world individual rights to sexual pleasure are respected in a culture not run by morality laws imposed by Christian groups, that have no biblical basis.

I suggest folks seriously study the real issues of PRIVATE professional, honest sexwork. Private consenting adult sexworkers - those your recent busts were against are totally in a different world than the public street hooker which I have never supported unless in special zones as in parts of Europe. I am upset that you are wasting so much of your resources going after mostly honest sexworkers that provide a benefit for our culture and again, are legal in most of the world.

One excuse for the raids was STD's yet only one of all the arrested folks tested positive. Overall in sexwork, I bet the rate is lower than the STD rate in the general population. What on earth is any connection to crimes, guns or domestic violence? Or kids in neighborhoods?

The customers of sexworkers ARE the neighbors, mostly honest law abiding citizens that seem professional private sexworkers instead of an affair in often unfulfilled marriages where if the man loves his wife, but needs basic sexual needs and enjoyment of variety fulfilled. Sexwork saves a lot of marriages that would otherwise result in affairs! And medically a professional sexworker is far safer than picking up a "legal" women in a bar and paying for her sexual services by wining and dining her. Professional private sexwork is safer, more honest and has many cultural benefits.

Studies have shown the more repressive sexually a culture is the more violent it is. Clearly this is true. Just look North to Canada where outcall private prostitution has always been legal (as in most of the world) and has a very low violent crime rate and very low STD rates amount private sexworkers. I realize there are other reasons (like strong gun control) but it makes sense that when sexual energy release is easily available it lowers violence, rape, sexual abuse etc.

Professional private adult sexwork really is an almost victimless crime. The only victims are the wonderful sexworkers who are victimized by morality laws that make no sense.

Go after real criminal that actually hurt people who have nasty guns that go bang, instead of the risks of chasing women with breasts and warm hearts that only threaten the morality laws that have no legitimate basis.

Respect the individual rights to privacy, and rights to sexual pleasures "in pursuit of happiness". There is nothing immoral or terrible about pleasure...even sexual pleasure..despite the religious right folks who have to impose their beliefs on others since they can't control and force people to follow their unreasonable, unbiblical morality traditions other than by repressive laws that make no sense. Most of the rest of the world long realized that.

It is about time morality laws are changed and certainly not enforced against these victimless crimes vs real criminals who have victims. Your limited enforcement resources should be used against real criminals that hurt society.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dave in Phoenix - enjoying and sharing information on legal sexwork in Canada not the U.S.
Dave in Phoenix

I also sent the above to New Times Letters at http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/feedback/index.html
A Phoenix Providers Thoughts:
... my prayers go out to all those who had a run in with Sheriff Joe's attempt at bad publicity. Just goes to show us all how careful we should be setting up our friendly meetings. The U.S. has finally stooped so low as to use innocent people as a ploy to heighten TV ratings and make the sheriff look like he actually works (we all know the truth behind this).

If any of you get a chance to read E.J. Montini's article in the AZ Republic today...you should! He has a good point of view, but it really is a damn shame that no one feels the need to stand up for something that is not hurting anyone. It always turns into some boo hoo sob story and gets turned around to make the public think that the woman was always forced into this profession.

I can tell you first hand that I would not be doing this if I did not truly enjoy making all of you so happy and helping you leave the stress of your week behind for even just an hour or two out of the demanding work week. The sheriff and all those out there that keep pushing this issue, need to stop calling us for relief on their nights off for one and for two they need to realize that their are much better uses of our tax payers dollars out there that could be helping this state instead of repressing it and filling our streets with sex offenders so they can make room at tent city for so called prostitutes!

Kisses and Hugs to all, Madison
Posted on the Phoenix Pvt List Board as well as other public boards by Attorney who is very friendly and List member:

Operation House Call

There were a large number of arrests yesterday due to "Operation House Call" Some of you may know me, some may not, but several of my clients were caught up in this sting operation.

I wanted to post to let you know that I am a criminal defense attorney here in Phoenix, and that the majority of my practice focuses on this industry. Dave knows me, and has sent people to me for legal help and/or advice.

I know the players on both sides here, and if you, or anyone you know was caught up in this thing, they really should contact an attorney who knows what he or she is doing. I know that some felony charges have arisen from the raids, along with charging not only the girls, but the guys, as well.

It seems that most, if not all, of these arrests were made as the result of warrants being issued, and served on people at their homes or work. WIthout providing legal advice, it would seem to me that the first line of defense would be to look at these warrants to check their validity in the first place.

In any event, if any legal assitance is needed, please feel free to give me a call at 480-704-5030, and I can hopefully help. Thanks.

Law Office of Robert R. Jung
PO Box 50936
Phoenix, AZ 85076