Maryland Criminal Attorneys are often called upon to represent represent women charged with prostitution. Today, I defended a young women who was charged with solicitation for the purpose of prostitution after a police officer answered the advertisement that she had posted on Craigslist. Ordinarily I wouldn’t blog about such a common and unremarkable case, but the case took on added significance to me in light of the Craigslist murder case in Boston that is receiving national and international attention.
The Boston Craigslist murder case reminded all of us who work in the legal profession just how much risk these girls undertake when they agree to have sex with strangers for money whether they advertise on the internet or stand on the street corner. Indeed the judge today commented at length on that issue during the sentencing phase of the case and specifically referenced the Boston murder case.
As I said, the case I had today was a garden variety prostitution case. My client posted an advertisement on Craigslist stating that she was “19 looking for safe fun..it’s 150 for one time 250 for 2 times”. A Baltimore County Police Detective contacted the cell number that was provided in the ad posing as a customer or a “John”. My client wouldn’t talk over the phone but invited him to her apartment to discuss and carry out the arrangement. About an hour later the detective arrived at her apartment and produced $250 in departmental funds. Prior to giving my client the money he asked her if she would do “anal” and she said no. She told him she would perform oral sex on him for the money and he agreed and handed her the money. At that point he signaled for the arrest team who came into the apartment and placed her under arrest.
This fact pattern constitutes about as airtight a prostitution case as I have ever seen. In fact, I referenced my client’s bluntness as evidence that she hadn’t been in this profession for very long and the judge agreed noting that the language is usually far more vague in most prostitution cases. At any rate because the girl was young and had only a very minor record the judge agreed to grant her probation before judgment and ordered her to complete 48 hours of community service. She has moved back in with her parents and is working a regular job now and will hopefully never have to resort to prostitution again. So long as she remains law abiding, she will be able to have this matter expunged off her record in 3 years. I can’t say that this was a total victory but she certainly made out a lot better than the Craigslist prostitution murder victim in Boston.