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.