The California Highway Patrol has a fun little incentive to arrest you: the desire to see you naked. A CHP officer told investigators that officers have been stealing and sharing explicit photos of female suspects for years as part of a “game.” Presumably, the game involves finding the raciest possible images on a suspect’s phone and sharing them with other officers and non-CHP individuals for commentary and approval.
It is not that surprising that Alix Tichelman didn’t call the police when her client overdosed, choosing instead to try to erase herself from the scene before fleeing. Whether she knew about medical amnesty in California ultimately doesn’t matter as this protection is very limited and there is no amnesty for sex workers. This is clearly a person who committed criminal negligence out of a combination of ignorance and well-placed fear.
The FBI has seized the escort directory and forum MyRedBook.com and indicted its owner and administrator on counts of racketeering and money laundering. At present, this effort doesn’t seem connected to a recent crackdown on the sexual trafficking of minors being undertaken by over 400 law enforcement agencies in over 100 cities nationwide. A number of arrest warrants have been served throughout the Bay, though additional details are unknown.
In the 1970s, a law was enacted in Hawaii to protect policemen from prosecution for doing undercover prostitution stings, which pretty much made it legal for cops to get down with sex workers before arresting them. As part of a measure to decrease violence against people coerced into sex work, the recent House Bill 1926 would have nixed that exemption, but the Honolulu Police Department refused.
The “manifesting” prostitution statute in Phoenix is more than a wacky law that gives law enforcement a wide margin to interpret pedestrian behavior — in practice, it’s effectively turned race, and gender identity into evidence. If you’re a person of color — especially if you’re trans — it doesn’t matter if you’re walking to Sunday mass. Your very existence is a manifestation of prostitution, and you’re fair game to get picked up. This happened to Monica Jones. But she’s fighting back.
Across the United States, hundreds of thousands of rape kits are still sitting on shelves unprocessed, years after the crimes are reported. In 2009, 11,304 of these kits were found sitting in a Detroit police storage facility. It was a repeat of something we’d seen before — in 2001, New York City had had a backlog of 16,000 rape kits. By the time Detroit’s stash was found, the Big Apple had just barely gotten theirs under control. The Detroit discovery kicked off campaigns across the nation but the going’s been slow.
“Revenge porn” websites typically run sexually explicit or suggestive photos of individuals along with identifying information. They got the name “revenge porn” because, initially, a lot of the photos and films that got online were posted as an act of revenge by a jilted lover. But “revenge” is not the right descriptor, considering the tactics used by many operators of such sites. A much more apt term, perhaps, is “involuntary porn.” Now meet its barons.
The United Nations called on the Vatican today to immediately remove all clergy known or suspected of child abuse, and turn them over to their respective local authorities. Their Committee on the Rights of the Child accused the Catholic Church of forcing victims into silence, preventing clerics from reporting crimes and moving abusers around in efforts to cover up their crimes. They’re also demanding that the Holy See make their archives documenting the abuse available.
It has been discovered that the chairman of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), an advocacy organization that seeks to advance the rights of consenting adults of alternative sexualities, was embezzling money from the non-profit from 2011 until her death a couple of days ago. The NCSF nevertheless continues in its efforts to help people of alternative sexualities combat discrimination and stigma.
The plan was to have a few drinks and swap partners. The reality involved gunfire and police. It’s a cautionary tale not soon forgotten. The key takeaway, I think we may all agree, is that guns have no place in an argument, especially one fueled by a disinhibitor like alcohol. But there is another lesson here, too: it’s essential to communicate with our partners about what we desire.