Latest anti-sex work disinformation campaign exposed
According to ESPN’s Michele Steele today, prosecutors in the Robert Kraft case “just admitted at a hearing . . . they will not charge anyone at Orchids of Asia with human trafficking. Prosecutor: ‘we have no evidence that there’s human trafficking involved.’
When the arrests of Kraft, the billionaire owner of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, and others were announced in February, Florida prosecutors celebrated what they said was the breakup of a trafficking ring that involved “dozens” of victims, But now they have abandoned that boastful claim, having failed to turn up a single victim of trafficking.
The wonderful Elizabeth Nolan Brown at Reason called this months ago, referring to the bust as “part of a larger national attack on massage parlors and sex workers” in both law enforcement and the media:
Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, was charged today in Florida as part of a massage-parlor prostitution enforcement effort there. The 77-year-old NFL team owner is one of more than 150 men accused of soliciting prostitution. Police say they’ve been investigating the spa he visited, Orchids of Asia Day Spa, since October 2018.
Authorities are calling this a “human trafficking operation,” with some media outlets invoking “modern-day slavery.” But so far all signs suggest this is just an ordinary anti-prostitution effort.
Assistant State Attorney Greg Kidos stated at the hearing that the case originally appeared to have “all the appearances of human trafficking,” yet he went on to say that the state will not file trafficking charges against anyone, and the investigation into an alleged trafficking operation has ended.
If the reader is wondering why Kidos would say that the case originally appeared to have “all the appearances of human trafficking,” the answer is simple: As Steele put it, “the prosecutors said they investigated claims of human trafficking because there was initially a basis for it, which necessitated the installation of the video cameras and other evidence gathering methods.”
In other words, if they don’t stick to their story that there was at one time sufficient evidence of trafficking, then they would be admitting that the evidence did not support the effort they made to impinge upon the privacy and property rights of the spa’s owners and staff.
Over and over again law enforcement, public officials conflate adult consensual sexual work with “trafficking.” And over and over again reporters fall for it.
Reporters have become willing participants in an ongoing disinformation campaign. https://t.co/h0nMvzx8ua
— David Menschel (@davidminpdx) April 12, 2019
I never felt more satisfied or optimistic than when I rode the river in my youth.