By Richard Roth and Patrick Feeeney, CNN - More than 25 men sit in an attorney's office - each was arrested for prostitution-related offences and each is now trying to avoid jail.
But this is not a defense lawyer's office. It's the Brooklyn district attorney's office and the road away from jail is a lesson in the risks of using prostitutes - Johns School.
Assistant District Attorney Grace Brainard tells them: "The crimes you were arrested for would lead to one penalty and one penalty only and that is jail time. And the next time you are arrested for prostitution, jail time will be the only offer on the table."
The men were arrested for attempting to pay for sex from undercover policewomen posing as prostitutes on the streets of New York. Men who solicit prostitutes are so-called 'johns' and this gathering is known as Johns School.
It's a program that teaches the dangers and penalties of prostitution and sex trafficking. It's been going on for the past 10 years under the official name of Project Respect conducted by the Kings County (Brooklyn), NY District Attorney's office.
Because of their clean record of no previous arrests, the men were given the opportunity to take the three-hour plus course – which cost them more than $300 – and avoid time behind bars. They could have had their day in court but risk of jail time was of great concern.
Rhonnie Jaus, the chief of the Sex Crimes Bureau, said the class attempts to sensitize and educate the men on the dangers of prostitution to both the John and the prostitute.
"You think you're having sex with an adult, and it turns out it could be something quite different," Jaus said, "It could be a trafficked child brought from China, brought from South America, so there are many different ramifications of this crime."
Brainard emphasized that most girls enter prostitution between the ages of 11 and 14. "They were children when they entered this life," she said.
The men also listened to a lecture from Rosetta Menifee, a former prostitute who had contracted HIV.
"Obviously the goal is not for them (the johns) to do it again," Menifee said, "but the reality is a lot of them will, so the goal is really to talk about what the risks are so that the have the knowledge of it from different perspectives, and hopefully they'll make better choices."
Different speakers pointed out the different risks inherent with solicitation.
Grace Pabarue, a public health educator at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, highlighted sexually transmitted diseases in a photo slideshow.
Former NYPD Lieutenant Jeff Anderson said a prostitute could be a potential threat to a John. "Some of them are emotionally disturbed, some of them abuse drugs," Anderson said. "Many prostitutes can defend themselves, many prostitutes have defended themselves."
One of the johns who wanted only to be identified as 'Skeeter,' said the course showed him different perspectives about the women forced to work in prostitution.
"Some of them have drug habits, maybe some of them work for pimps," Skeeter said. "I wouldn't feel good knowing that I'm paying that money, and it's going to further keep someone so they're enslaved."
Prosecutor Jaus said that the sessions also help develop sex trafficking cases and can encourage johns to help prostitutes escape their situation.
"We've had a few cases in which the John actually brought the prostitute, who told him about the fact that she was being trafficked, to the police station," Jaus said.
"He didn't go in with the young woman, but he dropped her off because she was crying and told him, "look, I've been trafficked.""
Brainard told the johns they should report any case of sex trafficking they witness, even if they were soliciting at the time.
"Taking that step to get law enforcement involved does not mean you have to report it yourself," Brainard said. "In fact, you don't even have to give your name."
At the end of the session the johns are given an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal. If they avoid arrest over the following six months, the arrest is wiped off their record.
Despite Menifee's fear that many will continue using prostitutes, Jaus said the course, which started in 2002, has seen a success rate of more than 90 percent. "Over the past 10 years, we've had over 3,000 attendees of the John School," Jaus said.
"So we've only had 26 people rearrested in Brooklyn for patronizing, who have gone through the John school."
None of the other boroughs of New York offer such an alternative.
Who's teaching the class – Elliot Sptizer?
omg i had to stop reading, couldn't stop laughing when i read that one of the participants only wanted to be referred to as "skeeter" bahahahahaaha
Ummm.....that's funny why??? You've never heard of a nick-name?
Who's teaching the class – Elliot Spitzer?
Considering how easy it is to pick up a woman in a bar, I have to wonder if a class is really going to help. Why pay for a woman when you can get one easy for free? Because these guys LIKE being a "john." It's the only explanation I can think of.
Exactly what bar are you referring to (I want to make sure I don't accidentally end up there on my way to church).
church girls are even easier...
c6martin2: I'm sure the ones that'll go home with you are real beauties.
Most of the time you don't care as all ya want is to see the top of her head bobbing
Wife, girlfriend, or not wanting to be emotionally attached to and/or vice versa, 'power', social status, ...
My ex was cool in that regard: "If you going to visit a prosti tute then I know that no love would be involved in that, so I would be kind of alright with that.", tho I didn't.
Anyhow, myself, I am a bit confused on the borderline of se xual harrassment, so I leave myself rather open to being picked up. (being male)
I am single tho and hadn't se x in years...
Serious about ready to be picked up, doesn't have to be romance of any kind. For some reason I took on a job where albeit not really officially I think I am kind responsible on my own during night shifts for well-being, safety and security of up to 400 persons including children. Even U.S. service members and government associates were there recently. And the object has in terms of security more holes than some of my socks, albeit if my summary thereof is going to be taken seriously hopefully not anymore soon. And for like the first two hours of my night shift I can't even properly check who goes to rooms when busy due to having up to two phones ringing and a line of customers wanting stuff. Similarly in the morning when busy including persons from outside asking for advice because their navigation systems took them the wrong way, without me having had any kind of break and having to be focused 8 hours. The possibility of "The Thing" kind of infection or similarly, with such spreading within hours to various continents, is rather something I put in the "yeah right" part of thinking. After ten shifts, I had to have five days off, but oh noes, I agreed to cover due to sickness, so it's back after two days off for six shifts from in a few hours. But hey, the brand the company I work for works with wants to make their (and that?) standard standard all around the globe, so please be so kind and don't blame me for that cr*p. Help?
So yeah, technically I am just the night auditor with sort of minimum wage, and proper verification isn't even part of my job description... tho I am rather inclined to go back to collecting bottles on the street than having to deal with that because it sure is difficult to do so with good consciousness if there is no improvement on the state of things.
Elliot Spitzer will be at the next class
He was the one that put the class together.
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hmm maybe they should have a class that teaches wives not to have so many headaches.
omg! a class? really? look, u broke the law, probation, jail time etc. oh wait my bad now a days its a "disease". go rob a bank? take a class.
this is not a crime and everyone knows that. just a dirty game and barbarian laws.
this shouldnt even be against the law.
Reblogged this on FitzPatrick Law Blog and commented:
Thought this was a great program. Gives the "Johns" some good information, and will hopefully keep them from making the same mistake twice.
Geez. You don't waste any publicity opportunity. Do you?
If nothing else, emphasizing the need to use a condom.
This is as big of a waste of time as "marijuana rehab." The only difference is that these people are supporting a market that directly exploits others against their will.
Except most of the times it's not "against their will".
legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. Would probably keep it safer for all parties involved.
good thought wonder if there is less trafficing in states that legalize prositution
In the counties in Nevada where it is legal there is no trafficking.
Good thought Chris...your mother could build some bridges with her tax payments.
thanks for the sane opinion.
Chris, just like in Nevada, where it is not legal in city limits, pimping of underage girls will still happen. All the losers with no skill or drive to work for a living, will continue to take advantage of women and little girls. Only when it is legal to kill pimps ON SIGHT will anything be able to change. These losers hang out in bars together and congratulate each other on the young girls they abuse. If anyone knows of such a bar, wait until it is filled with pimps, and BLOW IT UP!
What you talking about Willis? Wow, you are a dumb one aren't you?!
what, couldn't find a better way to waste my tax dollar ???
Th could, send these guys to jail at 50 to 100x the cost. You are not bright.
Your comment is awaiting moderation........ Moderate this.
Only $300.00? I appreciate the success the class seems to be having, but these men should be fined a lot more and that money should be directed toward helping these women recover once they are rescued.
I have never agreed with the tactic of using female police officers to lure men so they can be arrested. I think this practice needs to stop. I mean if you dangle something really nice out there, men are going after it. I just think this is wrong.
Today, they know the rules. Send them to jail.
Agreed. Send them to jail for a long, long time. They've shown they can't be a part of society without abusing another.
The article did not say that any one of these women was a slave or a minor. There was no abuse.
Abusing another??? I'd like to see how one of these working girls would abuse your face and set you straight if she caught you messing with her cash cow. Make you wake up to the real world, rube.
This is complete BS, I guess this is what happens when your country is founded by a bunch of puritans. Not all women are forced into it, some are there for the money. The reason we have a problem with girls being forced into it is because its a black market, if there were laws and regulations it wouldn't be that huge of a problem.
There is a reason why it's called the oldest profession around, maybe governments will finally learn you CAN NOT legislate morality.
You sound like you need to take the class.
And you sound like you need to take an ethics class.
For what? Telling the truth?
Thank you. People such as yourself with responses like that are the only people making any sense.
You'd think the cops would spend their time preventing real crimes instead of creating simulated ones.
Or in this case 'stimulated' ones....
This is a great way for a person to have a high-paying taxpayer-funded salary without actually doing much.
I think the punishments are absurdly high in America and ruin more lives than they help.
Ain't that the truth!!!
Off topic totally but.... "Your comment is awaiting moderation." and "Comments are not pre-screened before they post" each a quote from CNN within inches of a new post. Very confused, "Awaiting moderation" and "not pre-screened" mean very different things to me. Anyone?
It's hilarious they don't turn off the filters on comments for articles like this. Let's see, how can we talk around the subject using 'nice words' while the entertainment media (including CNN) dives into the gutter head first?
Awaiting moderation = post will never appear. Not prescreened = gone fishing
That has been my experience. Very few of my comments ever got through, probably because they were politically incorrect.
There should always be legal alternatives. "Family Values" groups just won't allow this. Their society excludes everything they don't like, even though they share a world it.
are you kidding me? are we going to start giving prizes to people who just steal the candy from babies but don't eat it?
Ha! Every single guy in that room is black.
not all, but most :/
That's because the cops are only busting the low-end johns and pros on the street. Only 25% of pros are on the street. Most are indoors, not trafficked, and making great money from financially successful men.
What about the Corporate Business men, Judges, Attorneys, CPA's, Physicians or any wealthy professionals who visit and pay Madam's and Call girls. Why is this covered up, hushed up and allowed to go on without any repercussions or punishment?
True. They get theirs from "escort services".
Because it harms no one.
Because "liberty, equality, fraternity" is about adult males with 'social standing' only?
Anyhow, I've been thinking about doing some sort of escort/gigolo service business for adult women, tho albeit it surely isn't merely about body, it seems that my body wouldn't be se xy enough for such in operational role. So, if I were looking for handsome adult boys and men to work with, anyone interested?
Certainly worth mentioning is that we are talking about work in Germany and eventually other countries where provision of such services is technically legal, with focus only on females and the first focus would be on female tourists and business women, ergo no need per se of being capable of speaking German.
This may be the stupidest thing I've read about today.
Well, second stupidest– there's a presidential election coming up!
That need to no that.pnm.
Look at the picture...see anything in common...hahahaha
No jail time but a fine based on reverse age and a required eight hour Saturday course. If girl 15 or under, John pays $16K fine; if girl 16, John pays $8K fine; if girl 17, John pays $4K fine; if girl 18, John pays $2K fine; and if girl 19 or older, John pays $1K fine. That is just fine with me!
This is a joke, their making the women out to be the problem, as usual. When you consider that the majority of women don't go into this line of work because they want to, it's normally either my force or by coersion by men. The only one who benefits from this are the men and yet you want to treat the women like their monsters? GIVE ME A BREAK!
It may be by force or coercion on the street, but street pros are only 25% of all pros. Most pros are indoors, are adults who choose the work, and like it.
The article doesn't say that the women are the problem. The real problem is politicians who insist on making this a crime.
The problem is with the MALES that use them.
I think it would stop if they just cut the balls of the males that use them
Your violent, sadistic comment reveals the mindset of the people who oppose this harmless activity.
Most of the females say that, but the conviction rate against p im ps is very low. The reason? They cannot get the women to testifiy. This is a situation in which what is said and what actuallly occurs are two distinct differences. It's the same with St r ipping, They all say they were forced into it, but the all continue to do it. You cannot have it both ways.
Awaiting Moderation, don't get caught and you are all good.
What a waste of money. If a woman wants to sell her body she should be allowed to. The police and DA's are sucking the resources right out of this country with their make work projects. If it were up to me there would be a whole let less policing going on in this Country and whole lot more health care.
At least for victimless crimes like this.
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Beezy you're talking nonsense, because I GUARANTEE if you got a $300 traffic ticket, you'd crawl on your face to take a class. And yes, speeding is ALSO breaking the law, and it is ALSO morally and ethically incorrect to do so. 3 things Beezy; No sin is lesser or greater than another, no man should judge another's actions, and EVERY man has a vice.
According to Bush it's a sin, according to Clinton – women's choice and right. The latter view is also supported by many feminists. Whom do you side with? (Did you notice that those 'classes' were formed in 2002?)
the cost of living is too high
The assistant D.A said that most women enter the life between the ages of 11 and 14. That is utter nonsense. Almost no one starts that young. The FBI does regular nationwide sweeps in co-operation with local and state police looking specifically for victims under 18. They never find more than a few dozen. That includes 17-year-olds in business for themselves.
Investigate it for yourselves. Go on Google and look at the ages of the people arrested. The average age is around 30. How do all these children manage to evade the police until age 30? How is an 11-year-old more adept at avoiding notice by the police than a 30-year-old?
Look these are the same people who explain the dangers of "marijuana addiction". All professional lairs and know this just as well as we do.
Many of them probably don't start in organized prost itution, tho arguably with '(e)friend', 'friend's friend', 'family's friend', probably with compliments and presents. From there then probably to organized prost itution, probably often because 'already used to it' and big money and 'respect'. And then in 5-20 years time they often join the ranks on the street, without any real job qualification and experience, doing it for peanuts, often addicted to various drugs including alcohol.
With the workings of organized prost itution often, mostly or always being as workings of extremist sects.
You are living in a fantasy world, probably caused by watching too much TV.
I guess Nevada, Germany and Netherlands are somewhere the Mars rover didn't reach yet. Maybe one day they'll learn there in Brooklin that things can be different.
"Many prost itutes can defend themselves, many prost itutes have defended themselves."
Hopefully I won't be shot when asking for ID to verify that she/he/they is/are not underage leaving the hotel during my shift at night.
"and can encourage johns to help prost itutes escape their situation"
If in hotel etc., anyone who would ask for help at reception in such situation, I would hide her/him/them in room and call police, albeit not sure in which countries that wouldn't just cause police putting them back at where they were at.
If they can defend themselves, then how is it possible they are such easy victims, as many "rescuers" like to claim? Another myth exploded.
For one, there are those and those, and two, e.g. melee is a bit different thing than e.g. blackmail, and/or being somewhere not knowing anyone not speaking local language/s, ... So or so, hardly anything that can be done when double your weight and mass is laying on your body pinning you down, depending on some factors tho.
e.g. in german language johns are called freier, which could be translated as freeer.
OMG go on craigslist and get free if need that bad.
Last night was rather quiet at work, even tho with plenty of checkins and checkouts. Albeit one particular thing bothered and bothers me – particularly about a girl, who appeared in the middle of the night wanting to go to one of the rooms. I blocked her, as she was not guest of the hotel, after which she called the guy on the room by phone who came to take her, with me asking for her ID to verify she isn't underage (20 according to ID). While his/her/their business was not really my business, it was rather obvious, albeit what do I know. Anyhow, after an hour she was back in the lobby, waiting for pick-up, looking damaged. I didn't engage in conversation with her, and regarding the issue of prosti tution overally besides the "pretty woman" scenario which often contradicts the strife for relative independency and is often contradicted by the partner's untiedness and has not really good morale imo, there is technically about nothing I could have done for her (aside from perhaps making her a coffee). Even if I had a contact for some women's house, dependency thereon is probably one reason of why many wouldn't go to such. Forced prost itution didn't seem have to be the case, albeit difficult to tell unless such "professionals" would have an official profession ID to show that they ain't operating illegaly voluntarily or involuntarily – tho even with such IDs possibility of involuntary couldn't be excluded perhaps unless from official side would be proper monitoring. A e.g. brochure about education possibilities could be helpful, tho with many a (temporary) significant barrier is language, particularly due to language/s used in education, and with many probably plays a role that they would be dependant on "handouts" (albeit e.g. Bafög in Germany is technically and factually a loan, sort of) and that they wouldn't have spare money (e.g. to send home). As for jobs themselves, according to some recent report, in Germany, population about 80 million, are 7.5 million persons looking for (more) work. So even if I had at least whichever jobs which are probably often not considered career jobs but would help with standing relativly on own feet with proper salary, it would hardly be enough to go around.
Btw, she didn't know the name of the so-called client.
Those men are stupid dey deseve gunshot
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They take all of the fun out of this victimless "crime". Don't the police have anything better to do?
Make it legal and tax deductible!
How are my girls supposed to make me money if all the clients are in class?
What a ridiculous interference in business between consenting adults. So, when a woman goes with a man after he buys her supper or bottle of wine or she marries him for cars house jewelery is he also a john? This business has been going on for thousands of years a will go no matter how much of taxpayers $ will be wasted on this.
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I own a rare classic Mercedes and an old Toyota beater. Invariably, the women who are EXTREMELY friendly to me when I go out, unsolicited on my part, behave that way when they see I'm in my Merc and Sunday best. If I throw a little money around, the interest waxes proportionally. Conversely, if I experimentally seek to be amenable and charming when I drive up in the flivver and blue jeans, I get anything from lukewarm acknowledgement that I'm alive to "go away, creep", stares. This is why I can't but help call disingenuous cattle waste when local law enforcement agencies and frumpy peer associations attempt to victimize the working girl and vilify the john. Pimps aside, I think it's high time we cut the hypocritical drama on this issue...oh, wait, we're in the U.S. of A.
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Most if not all of these comments are coming from people who think they know what they are talking about, or is their opinion.....in my experience you lack cultural knowledge to the trade....gibberish.....shm
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