Archive for June 5th, 2015

Why would a prostitute decide to be a witness and testify against a pimp if she’s only facing a violation?  – Keith Kaneshiro

As I explained a month ago, “Hawaii was the last American state to criminalize prostitution…and since then…[has] tried to make up for the late start by coming up with some of the most grotesque anti-whore shenanigans imaginable.”  I thought we had seen the worst last year, when Hawaiian cops brazenly petitioned to be allowed to keep the legal right to rape sex workers which had been enshrined for years in Hawaiian law until discovered by a justly-scandalized legislator.  But cops have the astounding ability of continually increasing their own level of barbarity, and a few weeks ago we heard that they had actually charged sex workers with sexual assaulting the cops who had in reality assaulted them:

…Lawyer Myles Breiner, who represented several of the women, told the Associated Press that in at least one instance an officer disrobed and then took the woman’s hand and physically placed it on his genitals. “They’re experimenting with the limits of the constitution,” said Breiner. “Sex assault in the fourth degree is a non-consensual touching of a sexual nature.  How can you say it’s not consensual when the officers are going into these establishments intending to be touched?”…

hero cops arrest dangerous womanNow, this should come as no shock to anyone who’s ever heard of any of the myriad instances in which cops charge their victims with “assaulting a police officer” for scratching a cop’s knuckles with their teeth while being punched in the mouth, bleeding on their assailant’s uniforms or falling on their feet after being pummeled to the ground.  What makes it especially revolting is that the cops blamed this odious stratagem on their being forced to give up the right to rape their victims:

…now that Hawaii cops can’t sleep with sex workers in order to make prostitution cases, they must rely on explicit conversation about the transaction.  But most massage parlor workers know not to be explicit in this way.  Instead, they may simply gauge the situation and then start in on sexual action without hashing out the details first—aka, without getting consent.  That’s what allows these enterprising cops to charge sex workers with sexual assault…

In other words, “let us sexually assault you or we’ll charge you with doing the same to us.”  Lovely.  Unfortunately for these disgusting thugs, most people won’t give sexual violence a free pass anymore, even when it’s cops perpetrating it; that’s one of the reasons prohibitionism has shifted to Swedish-flavored “rescue” nonsense and cops pretend to be targeting men (“pimps and johns”) when they are in actuality still mostly targeting women:

…Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Keith Kaneshiro wrote that his office was dedicated to “maintain[ing] its focus on prosecuting those who profit from prostitution and has worked with prostituted persons to accomplish this goal”…In January…Kaneshiro boasted about how his office had increased prosecution of pimps and traffickers…[by] relying upon the state’s current prostitution statute to “give police the necessary leverage to influence a prostitute to testify against her pimp…If she’s facing a crime and if she might do jail time, she might have incentive to cooperate with law enforcement”…coercive criminal charging is…ineffective.  Most sex workers do not have pimps or traffickers…the popular conceit, that sex workers are lured into the industry as children and then forced to continue sleeping with men until they finally escape, is simply not borne out by empirical evidence…Massage parlor workers may simply have no pimp to “give up.”  And instead, when faced with considerable criminal charges, are being forced to name any friend who helped them, whether that person gave them a ride to work or babysat their children…

In other words, “going after the pimps” simply means arresting and charging more women.  When the tactics are too heavy-handed, as they are wont to be in Hawaii, a public outcry like the one that resulted in the repeal of the rape-right may result; that’s what happened again this time:

Sex assault charges were dismissed Wednesday against 16 women who were arrested…during a Honolulu police prostitution sting…The decision to drop the charges has many wondering if the Honolulu Police Department conducted the operation without consulting with the prosecutor’s office first.  One legal expert says media coverage may have led to the decision.  “They may have been on the same page as long as there were no news stories on it…” said…Law Professor Ken Lawson.  “Either way, based on the nature of the charges and the facts of the underlining case, it was going to be dismissed anyway”…”It seems that HPD keeps looking for opportunities to have sexual contact with [sex worker] targets”…said Defense Attorney Myles Breiner…[who] represents several of the women…

Lion & UnicornThe dropping of the charges doesn’t even end this ordeal for some of the women who “were in the country illegally. Deportation proceedings for these women are now underway…”  Of course, the “authorities” try to cast such deportation as “repatriation” instead; they pretend the women were “sex trafficking victims” who never wanted to come to the US in the first place, so that it’s a kindness to give them a free ride back to where they came from.  This is typical of the looking-glass logic of Prohibitionland, where choice is called “slavery”, persecuting women is “going after the men”, and a sleazy rapist is defined as the victim of his target.  And for whatever reason, Hawaii seems determined to embrace such insanity as its brand and standard.

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