Oct 29, 2010 Why let police engage in sexual touching just to nab johns?
Prostitution should be legalized. Yes, plenty of prostitutes are being exploited unfairly to do this kind of work, and face risks of sexually transmitted diseases and violence. However, as addressed further at http://hips.org/about/ , the law should be about harm reduction with prostitution, and not about arresting prostitutes and their customers. Moreover, there is no monolithic stereotype of a prostitute. For instance, not all prostitutes work on the street; plenty make a good living working by appointment.
In any event, it makes no sense for police departments to let their officers engage in sexual touching in the name of enforcing anti-prostitution laws. Last November, I blogged about the reversal of a conviction of a woman for prostitution, where the officer acting undercover as a john engaged in "outrageous conduct" where the officer successfully requested to touch the woman’s bare breast and let her massage his genitals, with his requesting full release. My same blog entry addresses a shameful sting operation in Howard County, Maryland, where some undercover officers, possibly some married, apparently let the masseuses give them full genital release.
Now it turns out from an October 26, 2010, Virginia appellate opinion that in the course of nabbing a john, an undercover officer posing as a prostitute agreed to his request to touch her clothed breast and for her to touch his groin. Bakran v. Virginia, ___ Va. App. ___ (Oct. 26, 2010). Even for those who want prostitution to be criminalized and investigated, are you proud to have police officers engaging in sexual contact in the course of such enforcement? That demeans the role of and purpose of the police.