The Bad and Good news

The Bad:

The anti sexual freedoms folks are going wild especially Maricopa County Attorney Thomas in various media statements suggesting yet a 3rd wave of indictments. We already have an unconfirmed report by a bail bondsman that they know of 400 new indictments on top of the 100+ already indicted related to the Desert Diva's case where we have a client list / appts with over 6000 entries in the hands of police.

We have admissions by the "ring leaders" that DD was a criminal prostitution enterprise. They face prison terms and about 50 escorts that have or are in process of pleading guilty to class 6 felonies in plea deals vs more serious charges. All admitting part of a criminal enterprise.

SInce they have already indicted the main agency people as well as so many escorts and VIP customers who were given discounts for their reviews, the only folks left are the customers.

We have long known about the TER evidence book that has been compiled by Phoenix PD in the Desert Diva's case. The reviews are just fantasy notion is not holding up when folks are being charged and indicted.

In May 2009, County Attorney Thomas after the 2nd wave of 43 indictments said the investigation has just begun. Previously he has stated they have until August 2009 to prosecute customers before the statue of limitations for misdemeanor expires.

But heaven forbid if they bring felony charges such as by stretching the AZ pandering law to its limts, or under RICO, that risk could be longer.

Clearly there is political pressure to go hog wild agaisnt customers. Especialy since millions of taxpayer dollars were spent for a two year investigation even before any arrests and now the huge burden on the Courts, prosecutors etc with so far over 100 indictments and potentially many more to come.

Thomas said in the many media reports that DD related folks "enslaved" young women. We know this is totally false but it makes certain political groups happy just like making prostitution all about trafficking and children vs the realty that most is in private consenting adults.

Thomas in his news conference says that Dessert Divas was a criminal operation that exploited young women and made millions in profits. The criminal syndicate is broken and they will soon be leading a very different lifestyle behind bars. He congratulates the great work of the team to break up this criminal enterprise. He also mentions the reviews posted on a board which resulted in the felonies vs just regular customers. The fact that they got discounts may or may not be the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor since they MIGHT argue it promoted a criminal enterprise even if they didn't get discounts. One of his news conferences is available (after the ad in the beginning) at

Having more pro freedom people in the new Administration including the 2nd in command at Justice, is no help at the local level against prosecutors and police agencies going wild on their witch hunts against in private consenting adult prostitution.

Attorney's have recently raised concerns about "juicy" reviews on any board since aggressive prosecutors are starting to use them as evidence. We now have many Attorney General's trying to take legal action against Craig's List for their "prostitution ads" expressing a view they violate various state laws.

We have convictions on solicitation charges of escorts solely based on sexually suggestive words on their websites. Could the same be applied to reviews?

Free speech protects the review only to the extent there is no actual illegal action done. As the argument goes you can write an article on how to make a bomb, that is Free Speech protected, but not making and using a bomb.

How far can this be stretched that a review is admitted action, or is the customer protected by self incrimination rights to decline to answer any questions. But how does this related to a customers review on a public website? Fortunately their are issues of proving who the writer was but based on IP address it can be traced to a specific computer. This is untested grounds and we may not be as protected by Free Speech rights as we have thought.

In Phoenix we had in wave 2 of 43 more indictments folks that had to post $5000 cash bail to get out of jail (and no $100 bills only less) and are having to pay $5000-7500 or more for lawyers. Charging escorts and customers is a lot easier than convictions but it is extremely traumatic just to be arrested. We had reports of swat teams going to escorts homes, people handcuffed in front of neighbors taken to squad cars and what about arrests in front of a persons wife and children.

We are now in a battle not only about in private sexual freedoms but over Free Speech issues with reviews potentially used as evidence in criminal charges - a very serious issue for the Community to respond to.

"Phoenix police Lt. John Collins said the VIP customers indicted this spring rated Desert Divas escorts on the California-based Erotic Review prostitution Web site - an action that authorities said they would prosecute as a felony for supporting a criminal enterprise."

There are legal concerns raised over what exactly this means. Could it include reviewers being charged under RICO conspiracy charges? This would be a stretch perhaps but the concern is being raised especially for known clients of an admitted prostitution criminal enterprise DD's. Could they file RICO charges against TER and expand to all reviews not just of DD. OR any other site like the Attorney Generals of many states are going after CraigsList.

If they can connect a review to a client, doesn't that review in itself promote prostitution whether a discount is given or not?

VISA is also attacking by refusing to allow credit processors to use VISA if they have reviews for illegal activities. CCBill is the latest to enforce the VISA rule forcing one known review site to have to switch to a European processor..

The Good News

1) The Lawrence vs. Texas Supreme Court case did win the Extreme Associates case before a Federal Court based on the judges citing of Lawrence vs. Texas but was reversed by the Third Circuit and it was sent back down to the lower Court for retrial. But there were many other issues related to porn. In March 2009 the defendants pled guilty before the ordered retrial because they simply could not afford the huge legal fees of a trail and more appeals, as reported by AVN business. It was described as the longest running obscenity case in American history. Sadly the Lawrence vs Texas argument was never fully tested and it had other obscenity issues involved.

It has never been tested at trial as far as I know in a just private prostitution case.

I have a copy of a very well written motion to dismiss using Lawrence vs Texas in a prostitution case but it was never used at trial due to a change in attorney's.

I have a lot more info on Lawrence vs Texas at

2) As I've reported on we have a win (actually many times but it kept getting appealed and sent back to lower courts for retrial) a case in NY where a jury acquitted based on the argument that paying for time is not illegal, only paying for sex is illegal. But most escorts blow this by not being explicit that they only charge for time not sex acts, especially if they have websites and reviews of them full of reported sex acts in vivid detail.

Unfortunately most private sexwork cases are not aggressively defended due to either the escort or customer not wanting the publicity or even worse they extremely high cost of a legal defense, going to trail and potential appeals.

1) Funding for the best attorney's to take the right case to trial.

2) Public initiative expressing the publics outrange over wasting millions of taxpayers money going after what is legal in almost all the rest of the world - in private consenting adult prostitution.

Sadly the one very well organized vocal group for decrim is a total waste of time as their overwhelming defeats showed in the two most liberal cities in the U.S., Berkeley and San Francisco. Their insistence of the rights of street hookers to be a public nuisance has and will continue to fail and hurt the cause for private sexwork reform. Street solicitation is NOT legal anywhere in the world except New Zealand which has resulted in a huge outcry by neighborhood groups. Sadly there is no effective organized group that is fighting for PRIVATE sexwork rights for consenting adults which at least for outcall is legal in almost all the world except the U.S.

See "Why SWOP Is the Enemy or Private Sexwork" at