L.A. County plans to shame ‘johns’ who solicit prostitutes

Dec 10, 2014
Legal
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Los Angeles County officials plan to launch a ‘john-shaming’ campaign to publicize the names and faces of people who solicit sex from prostitutes as part of a campaign against child sex trafficking.

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to ask county attorneys to return in 45 days with a plan to “provide for the publication of the names of individuals convicted of soliciting prostitution…with a particular emphasis on individuals that solicit minors who are victims of sex trafficking.”

Fourth district supervisor Don Knabe proposed a plan to publicly shame "johns" who solicit or purchase sex. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Fourth district supervisor Don Knabe proposed a plan to publicly shame “johns” who solicit or purchase sex. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Supervisor Don Knabe, who presented the proposal, wrote that  “displaying photographs of the so-called ‘johns’ on the Internet, on billboards and other public places should create a large disincentive to participate in this sickening endeavor.”

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl [Democrat, and winner of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Feminist of the Year Award in 1994] said in the past there was a “double standard” in which sex workers were blamed, but their customers were not.

“I think actually public shaming, as ancient as it is — probably 1,000 years old or more — could be effective,” she said.

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