Monday, September 29, 2014
Money for sex – a bad thing – I’m not sure. I suppose it depends on the circumstances. In some instances, many might even consider marriage a form of prostitution; a ubiquitous form of prostitution which was undoubtedly more prevalent a generation or two back. Sex for security: Isn’t security a synonym for money?
Currently, we have a society where the very rich use prostitutes and even sometimes brag about it: athletes, actors, business tycoons. Consider for a moment Hugh Hefner (Playboy Enterprises) who has cohabitated with a bevy of beautiful women (often several at the same time), aka trophy wives, girlfriends or partners. A form of prostitution, I think so. And, Charlie Sheen who has openly discussed his many dalliances with women who love you more and with more vigor if you have considerable resources. “A rose by any other name…”
However, the ‘Common Joe’ is expected to walk a fine line. Obey the laws. However, if, when and how those laws will be enforced is anyone’s guess? In contrast, for those who are not students of the law, some crimes are self-evident like murder, burglary or car theft. A five-year-old understands that you don’t do those things; and, if you do, you will very likely be punished.
The crime of prostitution or soliciting for prostitution, on the other hand, is more obscure. As I’ve mentioned before, sometimes you have to stretch the imagination to define the crime, determine the victim or the perpetrator, as well as ascertain the genesis of the crime (mens rea). Is it the man (or sometimes the woman) who is interested in paying someone for sex? Is it the woman who voluntarily makes herself available to exchange money for sex? Is it the man who forces a woman or convinces a woman to prostitute herself? Or is it, perhaps, the police agency that creates a fictitious scenario to entice the unwary or the unsophisticated to participate in a crime like soliciting prostitution?
As an aside, there is a famous quote attributed to Winston Churchill, or was he paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw:
Churchill: "Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?"
Socialite: "My goodness, Mr. Churchill... Well, I suppose... we would have to discuss terms, of course... "
Churchill: "Would you sleep with me for five pounds?"
Socialite: "Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?"
Churchill: "Madam, we've already established that. Now we are haggling about the price”
But, as promised, I planned to talk a bit about my personal experience with prostitution.
In the later 70s, I was a Special Agent with the FBI and stationed in San Francisco. I was on the Organized Crime Squad. The sexual revolution was in full bloom, especially in the Bay Area. A significant organizer and player in the prostitution industry was a woman named Margo St. James. Margo, a former prostitute, founded the organization COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics).
Margo turned out to be one of the more interesting people that I’ve ever met. And, for a brief period, one might even say that we were friends.
To be continued…
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I’m going to discuss the subject of prostitution further, subsequent to this post – relating some of my own experiences. And, you might find that interesting.
However, I have some final comments on the Tigard prostitution ‘sting.’
Soliciting Prostitution is usually considered to be a misdemeanor. The ‘sting’ set up by the Tigard PD would take time, some intensive preparation, and resources that I am a little surprised the Tigard department can afford to squander.
Some may wonder, ‘Who exactly was the victim in this type of crime?’ There weren’t any frayed, forcibly coerced ladies-of-the-night to save or rehabilitate.
The answer, of course, as the prosecutor would opine, is that the State of Oregon is the victim. Now, to most of us in the public, who are constantly bombarded with internet solicitations and readily available porn of any description (movies, TV and internet), this seems just a bit of a stretch. And, we might, therefore, ask the Tigard Police and the Washington County Prosecutor, ‘Don’t you have something more important to do?’
Now, the Chief of Police might counter with, ‘We had a complaint from a hotel!’ (Which makes little or no sense – even though that premise was mentioned in The Oregonian). Wouldn’t it be interesting to know what hotel he is talking about; and whether or not the same hotel was used on the internet to summon potential ‘johns’ to their ultimately aborted liaison with a prostitute.
Perhaps, there is a legitimate reason to have a law against prostitution – especially in the currently unregulated social climate. Many women and sometimes children are victimized by this trade. But, Tigard PD's use of the law seems somewhat ‘juvenile,’ for lack of a better word - certainly not what the public would expect of professionals.
So, I looked up the Tigard Chief of Police. He is Alan Orr. Not exactly a new guy in law enforcement, he spent decades with the Portland Police Bureau. OK. That reminds me of the Portland Police Bureau's proclivity to dress their female officers like prostitutes and have them parade up and down 82nd Ave. How they get their women officers to actually do that, I have no idea. Real police work? I don’t think so. Portland Police apparently think so. And, I suppose Chief Orr agrees.
PS: I purposely have not discussed the Eugene, Oregon ‘sting’ referred to in my initial post. Eugene PD had one of their detectives, on the internet, pretending to be a teenage girl available for sex. That PD's focus was child predators. I do, whole-heartedly, support Eugene PD's efforts. Those that responded to that internet come-on truly are ‘scumbags.’
Monday, September 22, 2014
Before we continue on, I think we should define (as best we can) what constitutes ‘entrapment’ in a ‘soliciting for prostitution’ case.
Basically, ‘entrapment’ is when law enforcement encourages someone to commit a crime that said individual would not have ordinarily committed. Entrapment is difficult to prove. Generally the courts will side with law enforcement, not the defendant. For the layman or a typical law enforcement investigator ‘entrapment’ is a difficult concept. Police, in jurisdictions promoting prosecutions for soliciting prostitution, are usually coached by prosecutors in what the police can and cannot do. There are some myths associated with this process. Many believe that a female police officer, in an undercover role, is obligated to acknowledge that she is in law enforcement if specifically asked that question by a ‘john.’ Not true.
A typical conversation between a ‘john’ and an undercover female police officer might go something like this: John: “You’re very pretty. How about going somewhere where we can be alone, or would you like to go for a drive?” Undercover Officer: “Why would I want to do that?” John: “How about a hundred dollars.”
Bingo. Such a brief conversation coupled with the stage presentation – youngish, overly made-up woman in short dress or low cut blouse will probably land you in jail.
The Tigard PD utilized the internet; and it would be very interesting to know how they posed their ‘come-on.’ Sexual ‘come-ons’ are so prevalent on the internet that your local minister probably gets one or two a month. If you are a bit less discriminating in your internet searches, you might get one or two offers for sex a day.
So, speculating now, what would the Tigard PD use as their internet ‘come-on?’ How about: “Young, attractive college girl loves good time with older men. Let’s party. If you’ve got the money honey, I’ve got the time.”
Shoot, maybe that’s too obvious. Remember, we’ve got a very smart lawyer (prosecutor) figuring out this wording. Whatever he comes up with, it’s bound to be clever.
So, a young, maybe middle-aged, (and probably not too smart) guy goes to the motel room as directed. As he enters, he sees that sitting on the bed is a pretty (maybe not so pretty, but heck you drove clear across town) woman who looks longingly at him. She seems a little nervous and you interpret this as impatience. You get right to the point. "How much is this going to cost me?’" You’re concerned about this, because you only brought a hundred in cash and you doubt that she will take MasterCard. At that point, two overweight police officers come charging out of the closet and pin you to the bed, jerk your arms around behind your back and handcuff you.
The police consider you a ‘low-life scumbag.’ Even though chances are that one or both of these cops has seriously considered a roll in the hay with a really good looking prostitute – especially if they could get it as a ‘freebie.’
The officers advise you that you’re under arrest, that you have a right to remain silent, that anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law, that you have a right to an attorney; and that, if you can’t afford an attorney, one will be provided.
Then it’s off to the lock-up.
As far as the police woman, the object of your misdirected desire, she subsequently goes home for a late dinner with her husband. She informs her husband that five men would have paid her for sex today. Her husband, who has actually had sex with her, is somewhat amused; but tries not to show it.
To be continued...
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Somehow, I feel compelled to walk out on the thin ice – figuratively speaking that is.
My topic is interesting to me; but is no doubt controversial and one that almost everyone has a strong opinion about. The subject is prostitution. And, I have an opinion that may surprise you.
Recently, there have been a couple of articles in the Oregonian newspaper regarding prostitution ‘sting’ operations conducted by local police agencies. One article was concerning the investigative activities of the Tigard, Oregon PD. The other article referred to the Eugene, Oregon PD.
To establish a common reference point, and for the sake of framing this discussion, I will need to quote from the Oregonian’s article, dated: September 8, 2014:
“When Tigard police recently received a plea from a local hotel about problems with prostitution, the force knew just what to do: turn to the internet.”
“Within 10 minutes of placing ads on websites known to be popular with people seeking prostitutes, investigators received multiple responses.”
“So investigators invited the customers to show up at the hotel and… instead of meeting a prostitute, they met officers who arrested them, eight in all.”
“They were taken into custody, accused of patronizing a prostitute and held in the Washington County Jail.”
“(PD spokesperson) said the sting was a good example of businesses cooperating with police.”
Some in the public are probably thinking, ‘Good for the police department. Go get those perverted bastards.’
On the other hand, some in the public are undoubtedly of the opinion that the Tigard PD’s action sounds a little like entrapment. Generally speaking, it does to me too. However, police departments know the guidelines. They know the game they must play to circumvent legal entrapment allegations. It is a game, nonetheless.
Personally, I say the Tigard PDs actions are an example of law enforcement indulging their own prurient interests; potentially harming, if not destroying, the lives of otherwise ordinary, basically honest men; and a classic waste of taxpayers’ money.
Before you judge me as some sort of crackpot, let me explain. I’ve had some experience with the prostitution profession. No, it's not what you’re thinking.
To be continued…
Saturday, September 13, 2014
The Islamic Terrorists called, interchangeably, ISIS or ISIL, have apparently beheaded the British aid-worker, David Haines. The British Prime Minister, David Cameron and our President, Barack Obama, have condemned this outrageous act.
Isn't it about time that the American public, as well as the British public, decided that ‘talk’ is cheap and will only perpetuate this evil? Both Obama and Cameron our strong on rhetoric; but weak on action – and the world knows it. Talk, talk, talk and bomb, bomb, bomb. It’s not going to work. An effective bombing strategy will only create unacceptable collateral damage, and the resulting news footage will ultimately turn off the American and British public.
Our Army and Marines need to establish a base of operations in Iraq near the Syrian border and launch operations from there. In conjunction with our formidable air-power, our military needs to destroy the enemy on the ground.
But you say, the American public does not want another ground war. And, moreover, what about Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President?
Regarding al-Assad, an American emissary should be sent to meet with him. He should be informed that we are not invading his country to threaten his regime; and we should make that same announcement to the world. But, al-Assad must understand that he is to stay out of our way and that our intention, our only intention, is to destroy ISIS.
Regarding a coalition of international forces, coalition be damned. We will be waiting until the cows come home for the weak-willed and all the governmental hypocrites to act.
Regarding the American public not wanting another ground war, I think Thomas Paine summed it up best:
“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
Thomas Paine 1737-1809
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Yes, I am straying somewhat from the theme of my blog; but sometimes I just like to write about what’s on my mind.
Am I the only one who is getting kind of tired of the continually used cliché: “Boots on the Ground?” The President persistently uses the term, as well as his spokespeople. I guess they think it makes them look like one of the boys – tough guys. I don’t think so. How about switching to ‘ground troops’ or something similar?
I’m no artist, although I wish I was; but I imagined a cartoon-like drawing showing hard-boiled combat troops, preparing for deployment, fitting themselves with pink ballet slippers. Well, I googled ‘images’ and I couldn’t find a drawing exactly like that. However, I did find one that was on topic. Hope you enjoy it. And, I extend a kind thank you to the artist.
And, for our ground troops who are on the ground, even though the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t like to admit it, stay safe and God bless.
Friday, September 5, 2014
I’ve been waiting for the final disposition in the Joseph Charlton case as it slowly wound its way through our court system. This is, unfortunately, how justice generally works in our society. In the meantime, since his arrest, Charlton has attended various self-improvement classes, probably at taxpayer expense, like: parenting classes, therapy with his children, drug and alcohol treatment, “and has made a tremendous effort to keep his family together” says his attorney.
Sorry, I don’t buy it. So much obfuscation and extraneous ‘smoke’ that it makes my eyes water.
In 2012, Charlton’s eleven year old son used a pistol, obtained from his father’s vehicle, to threaten to rob and shoot a young woman while she sat in her pickup which was parked in a lot adjacent to the woman’s church. Charlton later confessed to law enforcement that the gun was his, and that he customarily kept the loaded gun in the glove box of his vehicle; but that he had not given his son permission to take the gun. Charlton was a convicted felon and convicted felons are not allowed to possess guns. He was charged with ‘a Felon in Possession of a Firearm’ and was recently sentenced on that charge.
Karl Deickmiller, a few months back, was observed ‘exposing’ himself to a five-year-old girl who was riding on Tri-Met with her mother. When confronted by the mother, he ran; but was subsequently identified from a video obtained by the police. Four days later, Deickmiller ‘overdosed’ on illegal drugs. When the police arrived, they identified him as the suspect in the indecent exposure investigation. He was recently sentenced on the ‘indecent exposure’ charge.
These cases are completely unrelated, but I think a comparison of their sentencing is important. Both Charlton and Deickmiller ultimately entered a plea of guilty. They did not appear before the same judge in that the gun violation is a federal crime. And, Deickmiller’s offense is a State violation. Charlton was given one year and nine months in a federal penitentiary. Deickmiller, on the other hand, was given two years and nine months in State prison.
‘Public Indecency,’ sometimes referred to as ‘indecent exposure,’ is a misdemeanor. However, Deickmiller had a conviction twenty years back for ‘First Degree Sodomy,’ which automatically bumped his current charge up to a felony. Therefore, this made him eligible for an extended stay at the State Penitentiary. Now, I’m not particularly sympathetic to Deickmiller. He sounds like a creep with some serious mental problems. Whether or not the State Penitentiary will change any of his perverted tendencies, I seriously doubt.
Charlton, on the other hand, deserved a longer sentence. The best gun control measure is when law enforcement and prosecutors crack-down hard on convicted felons. The woman in the parking lot could have easily been shot by the boy. And, I think the father of the boy was directly responsible for this near tragedy; and should, therefore, suffer severe consequences. Not only was Charlton a felon in possession of a handgun, but said gun was loaded and sequestered in the glove box of Charlton’s truck. That is where his son obtained the gun. Where Charlton normally kept the gun has not been given much attention other than the gun was not properly secured. However, a loaded gun in the glove box of a vehicle is also a violation of State law – particularly when you are an x-felon. Technically speaking, Charlton wasn’t caught driving with the gun in the glove box; so, perhaps, that is why he was not charged with another felony. But, makes you wonder doesn’t it? Why does a convicted felon feel it is necessary to keep a loaded handgun in the glove box of his vehicle?
And, why is a loaded gun in the glove box of a vehicle a violation of the law? Because of the obvious danger it poses for law enforcement should they stop the vehicle. Criminals usually place guns under the front seat or in the glove box - for easy access. Is this something that the judge should have considered? Yes.
Well, maybe the next time.
The Judge gave Charlton until November to check-in at the federal facility. Let’s see if he can stay out of trouble until then.
Oh, incidentally, it should be noted that he was recently arrested for shoplifting.
Monday, September 1, 2014
The Oregonian, this State’s leading Newspaper, Supports Legalized Recreational Marijuana (Bad Idea! – Conclusion)
OK, stick with me. The best is yet to come. I would like to discuss arguments 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 referenced and and then enumerated by me in The Oregonian Editorial Board’s justification for passage of Measure 91 (the legalization of recreational marijuana in our State). As follows…
The Oregonian’s Editorial Board (This was previously referenced and quoted as justification #4.):
“The potential increase in intoxicated driving is, again, a reason for concern, and the measure directs the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to recommend appropriate changes to the vehicle code by 2017.”
True’s Comment: 2017? The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) requires two to three years to make some recommendations in our vehicle code? Now, I realize the OLCC has had their problems in the past; and I understand that they are a governmental agency that is used to a more leisurely approach to carrying out their duties, but isn’t that a little too leisurely? How about six months?
The Oregonian Editorial Board (I am combining three of the Board’s more astute justifications – referenced and quoted as #5, #7 and #8):
“A completely legal high is only a short drive away for anyone in the Portland Metro area.”
“As of July 1, almost 65,000 Oregonians had medical marijuana cards, and many of those 65,000 have friends with whom – just a guess – they share the fruits of the system.”
“And then, there’s the big pot shop across the river – aka Washington.”
True’s Comment: This reminds me of Mom’s often stated advice. There are many variations of this, but I’m sure we’ve all heard something similar from our parents. ‘Just because your friends are jumping off a bridge that doesn’t mean you have to.’
Washington and Colorado have made their own choice. That doesn’t mean that choice is necessarily a good one. Why do we simply have to follow along? Maybe, it is so that no one thinks we are unsophisticated or ‘uncool’? Why can’t we make our own decision based on our own best interests for our families? Why don’t we let Washington and Colorado experiment with their own citizens, their own children? Why can’t we, at the very least, wait to see how it works out in Washington and Colorado?
Regarding the regulation and control of medical marijuana in Oregon, what makes one think that recreational marijuana will be controlled any better?
The Oregonian Editorial Board (This was previously referenced and quoted as justification #6):
“The Measure appropriately leaves the task of regulating the new industry to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which knows a thing or two about the distribution and sale of intoxicants. The OLCC would adopt the necessary rules by 2016”
True’s Comment: Those of us in Oregon know that the OLCC has been on ‘life-support’ for some time. That organization is just one referendum vote away from practically being put out of business. The OLCC, as it is currently structured, is outdated and unnecessary. The OLCC has, in other words, been hanging-on by a string. I’m sure the administrators at the OLCC are praying that Measure 91 will pass and give them some hope for a future.
Furthermore, lest we forget, the OLCC is the same agency that hired Doitchin Krastev, aka Jason Robert Evers. Krastev, a Bulgarian in the U.S. illegally, assumed the name of a murdered child (Jason Robert Evers) to fabricate his new, fraudulent identity. Krastev, using the Evers name, was hired by the OLCC’s Enforcement Division and later was promoted to a supervisory position. Krastev was, years later, ‘outed’ by a federal agency when he applied for a passport under the Evers name. He was subsequently sentenced to prison. OLCC’s explanation: Whoops!
The OLCC is, obviously, not very good at vetting their applicants in a timely manner which may also explain why they need until sometime in 2016 to figure out how they will regulate marijuana.
CONCLUSION: Some may feel that I am a little overwrought about this marijuana issue. I suppose what got me going was The Oregonian’s endorsement of legalized recreational marijuana, and the casual or ‘flip’ manner in which they presented their endorsement. I believe this is a serious issue. I believe that the voters in Oregon need to seriously think about Measure 91. Is it something they really want? Is it something that is in the best interest of their children and grandchildren? And, why is it that almost every law enforcement agency in this state is against Measure 91?
For all of you who took the time to read my posts on this subject, thank you for your valuable time and your kind consideration. If I convinced one person that Measure 91 was not a good idea, not now anyway, I feel my time was well spent.