Tag Archive | "prostitution"

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Is Prostitution A Victimless Crime?

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Is There A Constitutional Right To An Orgy?

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Is There A Constitutional Right To An Orgy?

The city of Duncanville, Tx which is suburb of Dallas has been involved in its own little Jerry Falwell style bible belt battle with the owners of a private “swingers club” called “The Cherry Pit“. The Cherry Pit is a private residence tucked in away in an upscale Duncanville residential neighborhood. The Cherry Pit advertises on the internet and according to published reports draws as many as 100 guests to a weekend gathering.

The Cherry Pit has been throwing adult-oriented parties where couples pay a fee for entry and can engage in pretty much any type of sexual activity they want on the premises. It is the position of the owners that this does not constitute a “business” as the entrance money is to cover the cost of food, soft drinks etc and not a fee for the privilege of engaging in sex from the tame to the “Pulp Fiction” apple in the mouth brand of entertainment…. It is rumored for an extra service charge they will even “bring out the gimp“….(just kidding)

The whole bru ha ha started back in November of 2007 when after several years of Cherry Pitt neighbors complaining about the crime, traffic and “unsavory element” “the pit” was bringing to the neighborhood, the City of Duncanville passed the following ordinance:

“the operation and maintenance of a sex club to be unlawful and a public nuisance. Violation of the new ordinance can result in a fine of up to $2,000.”

The city of Duncanville then decided that the gatherings at the Cherry Pit were more than just a gathering of “friends and family” looking for some fun and determined that it was in fact a sexually oriented business and subect to the ordinance. The response of Julie Norris, one of the owners of “The PIt” was as follows:

“I don’t know what their definition of a business is, but to my understanding a business is public – anyone can just walk into it and you must pay to get in and we are none of that,” Norris said. “I accept donations. Have you ever had your friends over for a barbecue and asked everyone to pitch in $5 or bring a dish? That is exactly what we do. The only requirement to get into my home is that you call and let me know that you are coming and you are on my reservation list.”

Ms Norris went on to state that she believed that the ordinance is a guise to attack their lifestyles and beliefs and that the ordinance regulating the club violated their First Amendment Rights to Privacy.

“It boils down to people want to put their morality into my private home and I am going to stand against that,” Norris said. “That is not what the Constitution allows.”

The owners of the Cherry Pit subsequently counter sued the city claiming the ordinance banning sex clubs violates their privacy and due process rights. They are basically using the same argument under which a right to privacy was found under Roe v. Wade. They have to use this method in making the right to privacy argument because there is in fact no right to personal privacy spelled out in the Constitution.

The Cherry Pit’s attorney, Ed Klein, said the city is trying to regulate private acts in a private home using the public nuisance law as a “pretext” to do so….

The Cherry Pitt has remained open while all the legal wrangling has taken place… Just today the City of Duncanville broadened the ordinance designed to shut the club down by making the definition of a sex club more general and add a local appeal process for sex clubs that the city orders to close.

***October 29, 2008 A jury found the owners of the Cherry Pit guilty of illegally operating a sexually oriented business.

So what you do think? Should private citizens be allowed to “swap pits” at the Pitt without the government getting its’ rocks off?

My initial gut reaction is to always have a problem when big brother enters my home and says you can’t do this or you can’t do that. My gut however has to take a back seat to the fact that this is done all the time.

You obviously can’t do cocaine or heroin in the privacy of your home. Both of these things are illegal regardless of where they are engaged in.

What about gambling? Consenting adult coming together to play poker or even chess for money? When does the government have the right to regulate such victimless consenting acts that may not be illegal in and of themselves? When is there a compelling government interest?

If your 100 closest friends are playing poker for big bucks at your place is it a friendly gathering or an illegal gambling operation? if you have take a cut of the pot, it is an illegal gambling operation subject to regulation and you as the owner of the home can go to jail. An act not necessarily illegal in itself but one that could be illegal based on the circumstances in which it occurs.

You can’t run a gambling operation in the privacy of your home and guess what? You can not charge people for the privilege of having indiscriminate, anonymous sex in your home. Just like taking a cut of the house makes your little gambling gathering illegal, taking profits at the Cherry Pit makes you the equivalent of the D.C. Madam

Let us also keep this in mind. Duncanville is NOT attempting to regulate the “Piters” showing up at the house. They are attempting to regulate the owners of the home in allowing the “Piters” to engage in sex for a fee at their home…. The government is NOT regulating where and with whom you can have sex with. They are telling the owners of the Pit that if they are charging you to do it, they are subject to government regulation. There is a huge difference…

No one is going to tell you that you cant go down to your local red light district and get a BJ from Sallie the local crack addict or Eddie the cross dressing pimp or even take Sallie of Eddie to the Cherry Pit for some fun. We of course know however that the act of handing over a dollar in exchange for the BJ makes the otherwise consenting act illegal prostitution on one end and the illegal act of soliciting a prostitute on the other end no matter where it occurs (in addition to whatever other nasty stuff goes with “the other end”). The government has decided that there is a compelling government interest to regulate and/or criminalize such acts…

Here is the problem as I see it. Whatever law passes constitutional muster can not be based on counting soft drink and pretzels receipts. If you break even its a gathering of friends. if you come out five bucks ahead your running a sex shop…. A law enforced by accountants…. An unenforceable vague statute that will not pass constitutional muster just as I predict the Duncanville statute will fail. Not because what is going on at the Pit is morally right or wrong but because you can not have a law based on counting pretzels and coke cans….

Duncanville may ultimately be able to come up with a law that passes constitutional muster and shuts the club down. I predict the current try is “the pits”…..  What would you do?

***October 29, 2008 A jury found the owner of the Cherry Pit guilty on 10 counts of running a sexually oriented business.  The Cherry Pit has since been shut down.  While counsel for the owners stated that the verdict would be appealed and the statute challenged, it is unclear if either of those was ever pursued.

Copyright Brian Cuban 2008

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12 Year Old Nude Stripper Finally Forcing Change

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12 Year Old Nude Stripper Finally Forcing Change

It was reported in today’s Dallas Morning News that the Dallas City Council is finally prepared to discuss changes to the cities sexually oriented business laws after a 12 year old girl was discovered stripping and prostituting herself at a local Dallas Nightclub. In typical dysfunctional Dallas City Council manner, for whatever reason the new ordinance is being debated in “secret session”. Meanwhile, the club where the 12 year old girl was working has remained open. One Interesting side note to the ordinance is a proposed six foot ‘no touch zone” around strippers. The will certainly cause an uproar among the regular going “gentlemen’s club” crowd. I frankly never got the whole strip club thing. Then again I have never in my life purchased a skin mag either. I suspect there is a strong correlation between those who purchase them and regularly go to strip clubs. I would rather walk into a night club take my swing and be told to get lost rather than give some girl 20 bucks to fake nice when she wants to tell me the same thing….

Brian Cuban is a an author whose  best-selling book “Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder” chronicles his first-hand experiences living with, and recovering from childhood bullying, eating disorders and Body Dysmorphia Disorder (BDD) and drug addiction.  Brian speaks regularly about his recovery and breaking the male eating disorder stigma.

About Brian Cuban

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12-year-old stripper prompts Dallas to reconsider rules for sex businesses

Here is a follow-up story in the Dallas Morning News. Maybe two good things have come out of this:

1. The girls living situation with her family will be reviewed by Texas Family and Protective Services.

2. The law will be changed so it is less likely for this to be repeated and more of these scummy business’s will be subject to closure.

City Council to weigh ordinance change

12:14 AM CDT on Friday, March 28, 2008

By TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News
Dallas city officials are looking into ways to revise an ordinance regulating sexually oriented businesses after it was reported that employing someone under the age of 18 isn’t enough to shut down a strip club.

WFAA-TV and The Dallas Morning News reported the existence of the loophole this week after it came to light that a 12-year-old girl had danced nude at a northwest Dallas strip club.

“We have to protect the safety of minors,” Mayor Pro Tem Elba Garcia said Thursday. “Who would have thought that we would find a 12-year-old in one of those places?”

City attorneys are exploring ways to revise the ordinance and will report back to the City Council.

The sixth-grader danced at Diamonds Cabaret over a two-week period late last year, police said. They also say they found a 17-year-old girl working in the club in January.

Operators of the Diamonds Cabaret at 2444 Walnut Ridge St. have not returned calls for comment. Their sexually oriented business license expires in November.

Demonica Abron, 27, who worked as a stripper in the club, and David Bell, 22, are facing charges in connection with the 12-year-old girl’s dancing in the club. Mr. Bell does not appear to have been employed by the club.

According to court documents, the 12-year-old told club employees that she was 19, but couldn’t give them identification and didn’t know what year she was born if she were that age. Still, she was allowed to dance in the club, records show.

The 23-page city ordinance allows the revocation of a club’s license if, for example, the club knowingly allows prostitution, the sale or use of drugs at the club, or if there are two convictions for sex-related crimes at the club within a 12-month period.

The city also can suspend, but not revoke, the license of an escort agency for up to 30 days if it has employed anyone younger than 18. But the ordinance does not give the city similar power over adult cabarets such as Diamonds Cabaret.

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