It Doesn’t Feel Like A Win: Scott Greenfield on ‘Operation Flush the Johns’

Dec 26, 2013
Legal
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Nothing makes a splash for an ambitious prosecutor like announcing a huge initiative to rid the streets of evil people, and Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is nothing if not ambitious.  When she announced that was going to after “johns,” the men who patronize prostitutes,  It was called “Operation Flush the Johns,” a nifty headline-grabbing name that was sure to put her loveliness in the public eye.

And there is was, 104 men arrested, and a huge chart with picture, suitable for framing.

Nassau-Johns

 

See the small print at the bottom of the black box?  “All are presumed innocent until proven guilty.”  There are 104 pictures that prove that to be a lie.  But they made for a fabulous press conference for an ambitious prosecutor.  Her statement regarding Operation Flush the Johns extolled how she did this to save womanhood.

“Sex workers are often vulnerable victims of traffickers and pimps, yet they often remain the prime targets in prostitution investigations, while the johns who fuel the exploitation are treated as mere witnesses,” Rice said in a statement released just before the news conference. “My office and the police department are turning the tables on the illogical and immoral nature of that equation.”

Saving the victims of traffickers and pimps is certainly a cause that no right-minded person can oppose. But what if this is a trope, promoted by the forces of Puritanism who oppose sex work because it offends their squeamish ethic?  What if sex workers choose sex work because that’s what they prefer to do with themselves, their bodies, their lives?  It couldn’t be possible?

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ernestgreene
ernestgreene
6 years ago

Why doesn’t she just set up a pillory in the middle of town and subject all these men to public disgrace? Until there are convictions, these men are guilty of absolutely NOTHING. That’s the law, a thing with which someone who enforces it might want to become familiar. I hope at least one of these guys gets a conclusive acquittal on all charges and sues the ever-living fuck out of Nassau County and its vigilante D.A. And of course, as always, no sex worker will in any way be helped, protected or delivered from sin by the grandstanding of yet… Read more »

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[…] there any police activity more pointless and pathetic than a “sting” aimed at people seeking to buy arbitrarily proscribed products or services? It is bad enough […]

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