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Photo: FBI. Law enforcement was seen in Olneyville Square around a. According to witnesses, women were taken out of the home at 40 High Service Avenue in North Providence. The chiefs of Providence and North Providence Police Departments did not respond to request for comment at time of publication.
In a time of unprecedented national change, Rhode Island sex workers are calling on state legislators to critically re-examine laws surrounding commercial sexual activitynamely the criminalization of sex work. Around the same time, public outcry grew regarding the prominence of street-based sex workers in western Providence.
In response, the Rhode Island General Assembly pushed to prevent street solicitation in May by reducing the solicitation of prostitution from a felony to a misdemeanor, hoping it would quicken the legal process and allow for faster arrests. While making the amendment, they decided to also revisit language that left room for discrepancy in constitutional interpretation. Prior to the advent of the Internet and the rise of sexual massage parlors, this unintentionally created a de facto decriminalization of indoor sex work on the cusp of its popularization.
When a district judge ruled in favor of massage parlor employees engaging in sex work because the indoor nature of their services did not violate state laws, she effectively decriminalized indoor sex work.
Providence police investigating prostitution operation, three arrested
Thus, from toRhode Island experienced a period of unprecedented legality of the sex industry before its subsequent re-criminalization by Governor Donald Carcieri. A study shows that this period of decriminalization saw ificant reductions in reported sexual violence and transmission of sexually-transmitted diseases.
Introduced Jan. Community activists widely regard the criminalization of the sex industry as something that both endangers and harms sex workers. This meant that, amid a pandemic, many sex workers were unofficially employed and therefore left unable to access federal aid or unemployment benefits, relying largely on community support.
Additionally, Robinson found that members of the industry faced discrimination in obtaining housing, as well as newfound difficulties from landlords. But this generally does not happen.
Claire Macon, youth outreach worker at House of Hope CDC, an organization that supports community members experiencing homelessness, has seen the challenges sex workers face in housing firsthand. And Providence is no stranger to policing sex work.
R.i. sex workers seek legislative change
Inthree employees of Foxy Lady, a local strip club, were arrested for solicitation of prostitution in an undercover operation by city intelligence and narcotics officers. The move drew staunch criticism from civil rights advocates.
Despite decades of serving the Rhode Island community, the club had never been called before the Board for failure to comply with licensing laws.
Moreover, the decision came before the workers arrested had been convicted, leaving Foxy Lady and those who depended on it with nowhere to turn before trials had even been completed. The operation began after a female employee at Foxy Lady came to police reporting her sexual assault by a customer.
Prostitution decriminalized: rhode island’s experiment
Supreme Court in a settlement with the city due to a lack of evidence for managerial involvement in solicitation. Additionally, one of the employees charged with prostitution was ultimately found not guilty — only after having her name and mugshot published in local newspapers. This led to the arrest of one dancer on prostitution and drug charges, as well as a city ordinance effectively closing the club.
According to Robinson, the policing Providence clubs face is unwarranted. On Feb. A second bill seeks to make it a felony for officers to have sex with people detained or in police custody. Another aims to provide sex workers immunity from prosecution when they report or provide witness testimony to a crime that may implicate them in engaging in prohibited commercial sexual activity.
Fbi, providence, north providence police raid multiple locations in possible prostitution sting
Together, these initiatives contribute to a broader dialogue concerning the decriminalization of sex work — a change advocates argue will make the industry safer. About Contact Advertise Subscribe. News University News Metro.
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