Pimp Empowerment

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A few short excerpts from this NYT article:

Mr. Elms said that he started The Erotic Review in 1999 because he wanted to empower the customers of prostitutes.

“I was getting ripped off,”he said.”There was no way to hold people accountable for their actions.”

And:

Robert Weisberg, a professor of criminal law at Stanford, said that prostitution promoted online : even if overtly advertised : might not pique law enforcement interest because the crime usually received little attention.

Jodi Michelle Link, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who specializes in sex and vice crimes, said prosecuting Mr. Elms for his connection to The Erotic Review could be difficult for free speech reasons. She also said that the prostitutes who said they had been asked by Mr. Elms for sexual favors would have trouble making a criminal case against him because they could simply choose not to participate on his site.

And:

Ms. Link, the deputy district attorney, said the criminal charges against Mr. Elms stemmed from a night in 2006 when the police were called to a hotel where they found him with 3.8 grams of cocaine and a loaded semi-automatic weapon. A prostitute was there and said Mr. Elms had forced her to perform oral sex at gunpoint, but there was not enough evidence to press charges on that accusation, Ms. Link said.

And the reason there was “not enough evidence to press charges,” it goes unsaid, is that the testimony of “the prostitute” about her sexual assault is considered inadequate and unreliable, despite the incontrovertible presence of a gun. Because violent coercion of prostituted women isn’t something law enforcement cares about, obviously. Certainly that aligns well with the Bush Administration’s view that helping coerced prostitutes is a waste of resources.

See also this, this, and this.

–Ann Bartow

Updated to add: There is harsh criticism of Elms by a blogger who claims to work in the sex industry here, which I found via a very nauseatingly “tee hee” description of Elms’ site as “Amazon.com for Prostitutes” here.

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