Tag Archive: prostitution

When a podcast pursues prostitution

microphone

I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts recently when the subject turned to prostitution. Now this wasn’t some hard-hitting news podcast but more of a humor/entertainment podcast. The podcast participants started commenting about how prostitution should be legal and how they don’t see it as a problem. I had to turn the podcast off at that point. I wasn’t offended but I just knew I would get frustrated listening to what essentially came down to the much cited myth of ‘consenting adults’. I just don’t see how legalizing prostitution would magically eliminate all the problems that go along with it. How would that eliminate human trafficking, child prostitution, rape, organized crime, drug addiction, violence against the prostitutes committed by both johns and pimps, and the like?

As is usually the case when this subject comes up a lot of people will point to places like Amsterdam and Nevada as examples of how legalized prostitution is flourishing. Sadly the reality here is even in legal zones like those mentioned all the aforementioned problems still take place.

Do I think the podcasters were trying to push some pro-sexual slavery agenda? No, of course not. Like too many people they are just uneducated on what prostitution really entails beyond the ‘consenting adults’ mantra.

Chicago suspect accused of raping Backpage prostitute

Roy Akins

Roy Akins

29-year-old Roy Akins of Chicago is accused of raping a prostitute that he ordered through Backpage. According to the Chicago Sun-Times Akins didn’t have the money to pay her so when the woman showed up to his house he brandished a gun and raped her instead. Akins even allegedly had the audacity to text his victim ‘apologizing’ for the rape.

First off I want to commend the Chicago police for taking the victim seriously and apprehending her alleged rapist. However I would like to ask how could Backpage possibly make prostitution any safer when it is basically delivering victims to the homes of potential rapists and killers?

Arrest made in the murder of Cynthia Worthy

Cynthia Worthy

Cynthia Worthy

There’s been some conflicting information being put out by the media but from what I can tell two suspects were arrested last night in Oak Park, Michigan, but only one of them has been charged with the murder of Cynthia Worthy.

Police are not releasing a lot of details but they say the suspect has a criminal history and was on parole at the time of Ms. Worthy’s murder.

I’ll post more here as more details become available.

UPDATE: Previous reports were incorrect. Only one person was taken into custody. Still no further information on the suspect.

UPDATE 10/17/2015: The suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Jerome Moore of Oak Park, Michigan. He was recently arraigned on first-degree murder charges in Cynthia Worthy’s murder.

UPDATE 3/23/2016: Jerome Moore has pleaded guilty to Cynthia Worthy’s murder and has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Jerome Moore

Jerome Moore

Cynthia Worthy was a good girl who got caught up

Cynthia Worthy

Cynthia Worthy

There hasn’t been any news information in the ongoing investigation of Cynthia Worthy’s murder. If you’ll recall Ms. Worthy went missing this past Friday after leaving to meet a man from Backpage. Her body was recently found in a Detroit alley. According to the coroner’s report she had been stabbed multiple times in the chest. So far no person of interest or suspect has been named or apprehended.

I wanted to share with you a quote from The Detroit News from Cynthia Worthy’s mother.

She was a super-sweet girl who just got caught up doing something just to make some quick money,” Priscilla Harrison said Tuesday. “She was a good girl. She didn’t deserve this. … She’s got a lot of family and friends who are loving her and missing her right now.

A lot of sex workers think I hate them, that I want to see them hurt or destitute. Nothing could be further from the truth, I want to see them safe, out from under a traffickers control if they’re under it and preferably out of the lifestyle. The allure of money can be powerful hut in my opinion it’s not worth the risk to willingly put yourself in the danger that these women face on a constant basis. If anyone who is reading this is thinking about going into the business I implore you not to. The risk to not only yourself but the trauma that your family could endure is not worth it.

Cynthia’s family currently have a GoFundMe site set up for her funeral expenses. I hope you can spare some money for a grieving and loving family.

As I said previously police do not currently have a suspect…

Anyone with tips or information is asked to call the Detroit Police Department at (313) 596-1616 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

Body of missing Detroit woman found

Cynthia Worthy

Cynthia Worthy

The body of 23-year-old Cynthia Worthy of Detroit has been found. Sadly it seems that she was stabbed to death and her body was found in an alley. Ms. Worthy went missing last Friday after meeting a man from Backpage for a date. Her family states that she was working as a prostitute on Backpage but that she was trying to get out of the lifestyle.

So far there has been no mention of a suspect. I’ll post more details as they become available.

My prayers and condolences go out to her friends and family.

Mass. AG’s office takes over local Backpage sex party investigation

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey

Recently in Auburn, Massachusetts, a sex party in a Holiday Inn room was broken up by police. The party was said to have been facilitated on both craigslist and Backpage. Some of that facilitation must have been prostitution since the alleged party organizers, Jon A. Lowell, 45, and Courtney C. Nicholopoulos, 39, have both been charged with deriving money from prostitution.

The investigation has recently been taken over by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. AG Maura Healey has been a very vocal opponent of Backpage stating the following in the wake of Sanisha Johnson’s murder

In a statement from earlier this month, Healey said, ““As we have seen through our office’s work, Backpage.com and the internet have become increasingly popular vehicles for commercial sexual exploitation. In fact, most of the human trafficking cases that our office has prosecuted specifically involve advertisements on Backpage. It is clear that Backpage must do more to end the kind of exploitation that is advertised every day on its site. Today, I am calling on Backpage to immediately shut down the ‘adult’ section of its website – a long overdue step that I urge them to take now.”

While Backpage is on its financial knees we need more politicians to keep pounding away at them until they submit. So far Backpage has been an evil that has triumphed because too many good people have done nothing.

Are prostitutes safer online or on the streets?

prostitute

Ever since Backpage was limited to only being able to accept Bitcoin as payment for its ads I’ve had people claiming to be sex workers telling me that without Back-page they wouldn’t be as safe being back out on the streets. One former sex worker disagrees

Back in the 1980s, when Audrey Morrissey was in the life, things were more clear-cut. Working the Combat Zone, she was, by design, highly visible. She could see and be seen, sizing up johns before she got in their cars or went with them into alleys. She could demand to see a license or have a friend take down a plate number. If she got into trouble, people would know and hear her screams. They might even help.

“I’m not saying horrific things didn’t happen,” said Morrissey, now 52 and assistant director of antitrafficking group My Life My Choice. She was robbed, raped, beaten, and had knives and guns held to her. “I know quite a few girls who were murdered. But it’s more dangerous today . . . because it’s invisible.”

Now let’s hear from someone who has worked during the Backpage era…

Pimps park women in these hotel rooms, sometimes in cities they don’t know, without friends or money or cars or cellphones. Every knock on the door brings somebody who might hurt them.

“You’re stuck in a hotel room for hours, days, weeks,” said Lala, who began working as a prostitute in 2005, when she was 16, and didn’t want her full name used. “You turn tricks, that’s all you do, and you’re lucky if you just run through them, and don’t get raped or robbed or beat up.”

In my opinion there are more women like Lala on Backpage than there are of these supposed independent sex workers. If you’re as independent as you say you can walk away but something is sill keeping you there. Is it money, drugs, something else? Then you have a pimp that you’re just not aware of. Women like Lala can’t walk away and Backpage helps keep her there whether you want to admit or not.

New England Backpage prostitute murdered, sadly this is not a repeat

backpage

28-year-old Daniel Tejeda, of Providence, Rhode Island, was recently indicted on first-degree murder charges for the death of 24-year-old Ashley Masi. Masi was found unresponsive back in March by police doing a welfare check on her. Police discovered that Ms. Masi was working as a prostitute on Backpage. Investigators say that Tejada responded to her Backpage ad and somewhere along the line allegedly strangled her to death. Unfortunately Ms. Masi left behind three young children who are now in state care. Tejada is already in jail on unrelated charges.

Hopefully with the recent financial blows dealt to Backpage no further blood will be spilled over what Backpage calls a free speech issue.

UPDATE 10/27/2015: Tejada has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder.

UPDATE 4/18/2016: Tejada was convicted of first-degree murder.

UPDATE 6/20/2016: Last week Tejada was sentenced to life with parole possible in 25 years.

Ashley Masi

Ashley Masi

Use Bitcoin for all your Backpage sex trafficking and get a 10% discount

Bitcoin

Backpage is always touting about how they have all these safeguards in place to stop human traffickers and pimps from posting obviously criminal ads for prostitution and child prostitution on their site. Yet they accept payment for ads from such untraceable sources like pre-paid credit cards and Bitcoin.

For those of you who may not know Bitcoin is what’s known as a cryptocurrency, a decentralized form of digital payment. Bitcoin’s main attraction is that it;’s supposed to be untraceable which makes it a favorite form of payment for various online criminal activities, most infamously the former online black market known as Silk Road.

Now I knew that Backpage accepted Bitcoin but I didn’t know it was their preferred form of payment for its ‘adult’ ads. While reading this article from the Rutland Herald about how sex trafficking of women and children happens even in rural Vermont I came across this quote about Backpage…

Also, backpage accepts prepaid credit cards and bitcoin payments because they are untraceable. Backpage offers a 10 percent discount for bitcoin payments.

If Backpage is so concerned about the problem of sex trafficking why are they encouraging the use of a supposedly untraceable form of payment? Simple, all they really care about is making as much money as they can from the prostitution ads where too many women and girls are forced into sexual slavery by their traffickers and pimps. If Backpage really cared about their victims they would shut down their adult ad section. They just can’t walk away from the millions of dollars they make off of the modern-day slave trade.

UPDATE: Bitcoin is now the only form of payment for Backpage as the major credit card companies have cut all ties with them.

We get Tumblrs: MyRedBook was not a “sex trafficking website”

myredbook

I previously posted about Eric Omuro and his former website MyRedbook. The TL;DR version is that MyRedbook was a San Francisco Bay area prostitution website in the vein of Backpage that was shut down by the feds and Mr. Omuro was charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering and pleaded guilty to those charges. In those posts I referred to MyRedbook, and in my opinion rightfully so, as a sex trafficking website.

More recently I posted an update to the story where Mr. Omuro was forced to forfeit a rather large sum of money as part of his plea deal. When I post a minor update like that, rather than making a an entire new post out of it I just add a snippet of text and a link to the previous post. Then what I do is send out the update on my social networking accounts. One of those accounts happens to be Tumblr. That update was reblogged on Tumblr by someone with the following…

MyRedBook was not a “sex trafficking website”, and its closure has made life significantly more dangerous for workers in the states in which it operated. Don’t spout ignorant shit.

First off one of the charges that Eric Omuro pleaded guilty to was facilitating prostitution. Where there is prostitution there is inevitably going to be women and girls who are being trafficked against their will, even in self-contained bubbles of counter-culture like San Francisco. Secondly that argument that websites like MyRedbook or Backpage make sex workers safer is specious at best. If anything it’s as dangerous or even more dangerous as the number of murders, rapes, and assaults that happen to sex workers who advertise on Backpage and Craigslist can attest to. Since sites like MyRedbook and Backpage make prostitution as easy and ubiquitous as ordering a pizza that increases not only the number of girls and women being trafficked but also the number of those that become victims to violent crimes committed by johns.

If you are in the sex industry I always recommend getting out before you get hurt. While I realize it’s not always easy there are resources for you, some of which can be found down the right hand column of this website under the heading of Sex Trafficking Resources.