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Articles Posted in Prostitution

On Saturday Min Deng was arrested and charged with Prostitution after Framingham, Massachusetts police responded to an advertisement on “craigslist” for “adult services”. A Framingham police sergeant who was searching the website found a listing for the services. He responded and met with Deng at her apartment. Deng offered Sex for a Fee after which she was arrested. Deng’s arraignment is set for February 17, 2010 in the Framingham District Court.

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Prostitution Charges For Woman Offering Massages Out Of Framingham Apartment

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Prostitution in Massachusetts

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 53A makes Prostitution in Massachusetts a misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in the house of correction. Massachusetts Criminal Lawyers with experience defending prostitution cases can usually get charges for first time offenders dismissed with court costs or continued without a finding. In this case it is interesting that Deng could not be arraigned because there was no Mandarin interpreter to translate the proceedings yet the officer investigating the case contends that she negotiated specific sex acts for certain fees. How did he know what she was saying given that she was offering massage services and a massage table was set up in the apartment. I am sure that Deng’s lawyer will explore this issue in mounting a defense. Absent a lengthy criminal record I would not be surprised to see this case resolved favorably for the defendant.

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Last Friday the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reversed a conviction for Attempted Rape of a Child. The facts of the case, Commonwealth v. Kerry Van Bell are as summarized as follows:

The defendant was the target of a sting investigation. An undercover police officer posed as a prostitute offering her foster child for sexual services to Van Bell. The officer called the defendant. The two agreed to meet. The officer was supposed to bring with her the child. The meeting transpired at a convenience store. No child was present. The officer asked for some money. The defendant refused to pay without seeing the child. Detailed negotiations followed. The office gave the child’s location and a fee of two hundred dollars was negotiated. Backup officers were then contacted and the defendant was arrested as he was driving out of the parking lot of the convenience store. Van Bell admitted to police that he had negotiated to have sex with a five year old girl. He was convicted of several crimes, one of which was Attempted Rape of a Child.

Van Bell appealed his conviction to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The conviction was reversed. The Court held that the prosecution failed to present sufficient evidence to show the Van Bell engaged in an “overt act”, an element of the Crime of Attempt in Massachusetts. To be convicted of an Attempt in Massachusetts the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt 1) specific intent, 2) an overt act and 3) nonachievement of the crime. An overt act must “come near enough to the accomplishment of the substantive offence to be punishable.” In this case the overt act was not legally established by the district attorney. Here is some of the reasoning. The defendant had never seen the child. He did not know the exact location of the child. He never followed the officer to the child’s location and he never paid for the services. To satisfy this aspect of the statute there is a need to prove that the defendant was very near to the actual commission of the crime.

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This past Tuesday undercover police officers responded to an advertisement on Craigslist suggesting that the author was offering Sex For a Fee. The solicitation was provided by Heather Robinson who stated that she would be available at a motel in Framingham, Massachusetts. Officers arranged to meet her at her motel. During the meeting Robinson would perform full service sexual acts for one hundred fifty dollars. Once the agreement was finalized Robinson was arrested. She has been charged with Prostitution in the Framingham District Court.

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Prostitution Charges Issue Against Woman Who Used Craigslist To Advertise For Sexual Services

So what will happen to Robinson? Well, assuming she has no prior criminal record and that she Hire an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer she might be able to walk away from this case without a criminal record. A dismissal with court costs, pre-trial probation or a continuance without a finding are all possible dispositions in this case.

This case brings up an interesting question that is being litigated nationally these days. Is Craigslist responsible for creating a public nuisance or is it in violation of federal and state prostitution laws? Just yesterday in Illinois a federal judge dismissed a case being brought by the Cook County Sheriff complaining that Craigslist is a public nuisance and in violation of various laws pertaining to prostitution. The suit claimed in part that Craigslist “solicits for a prostitute…by arranging meetings of persons for purposes of prostitution.” Similar lawsuits in other states are being filed as well. Craigslist has responded by making changes to its advertising solutions.

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Acting in an undercover capacity Salem, Massachusetts Police Detective Bill Jennings met forty six year old Lisa Anderson at her apartment posing as a potential client. Anderson had a website listing her services as an escort or companion. She greeted Jennings in a bra, thong and nylons. The two conversed and agreed on a price of two hundred dollars an hour for sex. Anderson was then arrested and charged with one count of Prostitution and one count of Using a Building for Prostitution. The case is being prosecuted in the Salem District Court.

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Massachusetts Woman Charged With Prostitution After Being Solicited By Undercover Officer

So what is Anderson looking at? Well, she is probable being charged under M.G.L. ch. 272 Section 53A making it a crime to engage in sex for a fee or to offer to do so. The maximum sentence is one year in the house of correction and/or a five hundred dollar fine. Using a Building for Prostitution is a crime pursuant to M.G.L. ch. 139 Section 4. The maximum sentence under that statute is three years in state prison, making this crime a felony. I would guess that if Anderson gets an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer and if she has no record or an unremarkable criminal record the district attorney will agree to dismiss the felony and continue the Prostitution charge without a finding.

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Over the weekend and undercover female police officer placed an advertisement on Craigslist offering sex in exchange for cash at a Worcester, Massachusetts hotel. The operation resulted in fifty arrests total, most from Massachusetts. The target of the prostitution sting was people who advertise sex for fee on Craigslist and the people who respond to those ads. The operation was conducted over a three day period at a Worcester hotel. Three such operations have been conducted since the fall. The names of all defendants have been published. The information obtained from the investigation was shared with Boston police.

Massachusetts Residents Arrested When Trying To Get Sex From Craigslist

Engaging in sexual conduct for a fee in Massachusetts is a crime pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 53. The law states that anyone who agrees to engage in sex for a fee or offers to pay for sexual favors shall be punished for up to one year in jail or by a fine of up to five hundred dollars. The sex does not have to occur for a person to be convicted of this offense. Typically people accused of this crime for the first time get their cases continued without a finding. However, it is becoming increasingly more common for law enforcement to publish the names of the offenders. This is designed to deter people from committing this crime.

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Last Friday Danvers Police Detective Stephen Baldassare rented 3 rooms at a motel on Route 1 North.  He then set up dates with women who were advertising “erotic services” on the internet.  The first woman arrived and agreed to provide sexual services for two hundred dollars.  She was arrested by police in an adjoining room.  The second woman arrived a couple of hours later and agreed to perform a sex act for one hundred eighty dollars.  She was also arrested.  One hour later the third woman arrived and agreed to similar services for one hundred fifty dollars.  This was the final arrest in this investigation that night.  All of the women were charged with sexual conduct for a fee in the Salem District Court

Acts of prostitution at the motels along Route 1 are increasing as the internet has become a way to sell and arrange for these services.  Crimes through the use of the internet are increasing and Massachusetts police departments such as Danvers and Peabody are “developing more cases through computer investigations”. 

Read Article:  Today’s Prostitutes Using The Internet To Attract Business

Engaging in sexual conduct for a fee is a criminal act in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 53A.  Anyone who solicits sex for money or offers sex for money is subject to a five hundred dollar fine and up to one year in jail.  If the article referenced in this post is accurate, all women have violated this law.  Many times cases like this can be resolved in a manner where the accused will not have a conviction, particularly if the person has no criminal record. 

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Somerville, Massachusetts police were investigating prostitution in their city and set up a sting operation.  An undercover officer responded to an advertisement and met with 24 year old Natasha Janvier, a prostitute, in her Somerville apartment.  Services and fees were discussed after which backup officers stormed the apartment to make their arrest.  In the process of doing so they smelled marijuana in an adjacent room.  Upon entering the room they located Michael Martinez, 27 from Boston and two juveniles.  While identifying Martinez the officers found six individually package bags of cocaine in his wallet.  Janvier was charged with sexual conduct for a fee.  Martinez has been charged with possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and a school zone violation

Read Article:  Boston Drug Dealer, Somerville Prostitute Arrested

Engaging in sexual conduct for a fee in Massachusetts is a misdemeanor.  Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 53 states that anyone who offers to engage in sexual conduct for a fee or anyone who pays another to engage in sexual conduct with him or her is guilty of this crime.  There is a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail for a conviction of this offense. 

If the reports in this case are correct then Janvier’s actions constitute a violation of this law.  She established prices of $130 for 30 minutes and $175 for a full hour of her sexual services.  She also had a list of dos and don’ts for having sex with her.  The extent of her sentence will likely be predicated on her criminal history.

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