An Arizona man, William J. Hartwell, stands trial todayfor allegedly running an illegal Prostitution business. Hartwell claims that he operated a legal pornography studio for amateurs. He described his company, New Media Studios, as a self-serve pornography business.
The Phoenix Police claimthat men could pay $140 for 30 minutes of sex with their choice of New Media Studio’s workers while employees filmed the act. How did they come upon that information? The Phoenix Police Department, in conjunction with the FBI, conducted a 6-month undercover investigation. That’s your tax dollars at work. Ultimately, that led to Hartwell and seven female employees being arrested on prostitution charges.
In the end, Hartwell’s pornography defense will probably not stand in court as a legal loophole against prostitution crimes. However, you have to wonder, “Why does the government aggressively prosecute one form of sex work while the other is legal and ubiquitous?” Then again, our country has some startling contradictory views on sexuality. Approximately 77% of American men view pornographyat least once a month. However, only 44% of American men believethat pornography is “morally acceptable” behavior. Obviously, there is a massive overlap of men who fall into both categories.
Until prostitution is decriminalized, our criminal justice system will continue to prosecute sex work between consenting adults unless, of course, there is a film crew present and we can all view the content.