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February 27, 2005

Soliciting Precisely What?

So, here's the set-up. Imagine a seedy little man in a seedy little auto pawnshop. Imagine a woman coming in to pawn her car and being told by the seedy little man that he'll give her $1000 more for her car if she shows him her breasts. Now, imagine that she takes the money and does as he asks.

Before I go any further, let's establish two things: I believe that prostitution should be legal and regulated by the state, and I further believe that the seedy little man was behaving atrociously. On the first, while I can't imagine ever going to a prostitute, I consider the transaction between two adults to be, simply, a private contract between two individuals. None of my business, but at least as worthy as the food service industry of being regulated for health concerns. On the second, the pawnshop employee is a cad, a jerk, an ass, and all sorts of other words that you might choose to use in description.

Let's jump back to the story, shall we?

I first saw this story on the local Fox affiliate. The leaders in the ads went something like this: "An employee at a local store asks a woman to show him her breasts. Find out why he's not in jail." That's paraphrasing big time from memory, folks, so forgive me if I'm not absolutely accurate. I think you get the idea.

The news on Fox that night featured a woman, backlit so that her face was obscured, telling a sad little tale of woe and depression. It's here that she reveals that she took the money, she showed her chest, and then she filed a complaint with the police. The worker was arrested and later released and he will later have a court date over the case (and other women have come forward with similar stories, at least one who seemingly had sex with the man for a little extra cash on her pawn).

Now, I want to pose a few questions:

First, who are these women angry with: the caddish worker for offering cash for sexual gratification? Or are they just angry that they were willing to shred their dignity for such a low price?

Second, what is the man being charged with? If there was any contact involved, it doesn't sound that it was anything but consensual--that is, the woman agreed that, for a fee, they would allow him to take certain liberties. So, from that point of view, it can't be sexual assault or rape. If it's a soliciting prostitution charge, then shouldn't the women be facing charges for accepting the money? If the charge is just making an indecent suggestion, then most drunks in bars (both male and female, if my own experience is anything to go by) are just as guilty as this guy--they just usually don't offer cash as an inducement.

I'm sorry, but these women have no room for complaint. If they didn't like the offer, they should've said no, but if the employee is guilty, then it seems that they are just as guilty for their part in the transaction.

The story may well be more convoluted than I know; there may be some hidden offense that didn't make it into the news report. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any details on either the Fox News site or the two local newspapers.

Posted by zombyboy at February 27, 2005 11:46 AM

If all details here are even closely correct- this is STUPID!

She wasn't coerced. It's called a choice. Sometimes we make really, really stupid ones. Note the simple subject and verb there.

Good grief.

Posted by: Rae at February 27, 2005 09:24 PM
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