Victimless Crime

A post today by Closing Argument questions the Providence Journal ‘outing’ a Massachusetts attorney who was allegedly robbed by a client while she was working as an escort.

The woman is now trying to withdraw her charge, because she sees her professional reputation damaged and her personal life becoming tabloid material.

While I have long been opposed to the Journal’s printing the names and addresses of people who report a crime, this situation illustrates the danger of working outside the law. What is an ‘escort’ anyway, and why would this woman rather let a crime go unpunished than acknowledge what she was doing for money?

I hope she will decide to testify, because it sounds like a violent man will get away with a crime if she doesn’t.

There’s a kind of ‘Pretty Woman’ myth that selling sex is just fine as long as you have a ‘respectable’ life to retreat back into when you get tired of it. But doing things for money that you wouldn’t admit to your peers is liable to come back and haunt you. I’m not bragging when I say that I have cleaned toilets for a living. It’s honest work and you don’t have to smile at people you despise.

Okay, enough sanctimoniousness. There is some really good discussion of the Journal’s naming of crime victims. Other large newspapers refrain from doing this, out of the reasonable concern that if you are mugged by a stranger, you don’t want them to have your name and address. Providence Daily Dose asked why the Journal publishes names, and got a letter back from a reporter, very good post here.

4 thoughts on “Victimless Crime

  1. WHAT IF SHE WENT OUT ON A DATE AND WAS GETTING PAID FOR IT INSTEAD OF SELLING HER BODY AS A PROSTITUTE WOULD? SOME MEN WANT A WOMEN TO ATTEND A FUNCTION WITH THEM AND NOT BE INVOLVED WITH THEM AT THE EMOTIONAL LEVEL AND WOULD BE HAPPY JUST TO ESCORT A GOOD LOOKING WOMAN TO A DINNER AND A FORMAL GET TOGETHER WITHOUT HAVING SEX WITH HER.

  2. I think that people who assault and rob are much more destructive to society than people who sell their company, for whatever reason. If the officers of the peace are free to apply their efforts to preventing violence and stopping those who perpetrate violence we will have a better society.
    I am sorry that the woman in this case has found herself caught between conflicting ideas of what is moral, and I hope that she finds the support to assert her right, as a citizen, to be protected from threats and robbery.

  3. Amanda Milkovits is probably the most accurate and professional reporter at the Projo.
    She reports.I never get any hint of her personal opinion in a story.
    That stuff is ok for columns,editorials,etc,but not news stories.
    Features-??Hard to say.

  4. She doesn’t make the policy of reporting names and addresses of crime victims, and it’s not a universal policy among newspapers. I like the Louisville Courier-Journal. It gives you a detailed description of the crime report and location, so that you can protect yourself, but it doesn’t publish the name and address of the victim.
    The Journal policy drew some letters to the editor a few years ago when a Journal employee was punched by strangers while out jogging. The Journal let the perps know his name, where he lived and where he worked, and the fact that he had reported. Quite an advantage, since the victim had no idea who the attackers were.
    A newspaper has these people called editors, it does not dump raw info without discrimination.

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