Ask A Cop

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Dear Cop,
Just last week, I was reading the news and learned about a slew of prostitution stings happening in Layton. Images of white women wearing pink, fluffy bathrobes and conservative khakis standing on the porches of their pre-fab suburban homes danced through my mind. Where are Layton’s seedy motels? Where is the Red Light District? The city of Layton seems a bit too much like a haven of strip malls in cookie-cutter suburbia to host something as scandalous as a prostitution sting. After my initial amusement of suburban hooker housewives subsided and I read on, the story actually made me question the legality of this “sting.”
According to the article, cops in Layton will browse online advertisements for escorts to find individuals from across the Wasatch Front to contact. They will then ask the individuals to travel to Layton. If they agree, an arrest takes place. I don’t know much about the laws of entrapment, but from my perspective, it almost seems like Layton police are wasting their time browsing the smutty section of Craigslist. Could the actions that Layton police are taking be considered entrapment? Or is what they are doing perfectly legal?
Sincerely,
Confused Citizen


Dear Citizen,
Yes, the Layton cops’ actions are perfectly legal. However, entrapment could apply to a specific incident during the arrest of one of these girls or guys.
Let’s say the vice cop working this “sting” offers $10,000 for a blowjob to one of the responding dudes. Then, you’d probably see court motions offering that the male “massager” was monetarily entrapped into doing something far past the normal rubbing a cop would have received.
I hate to burst your bubble, but prostitution is everywhere. Find the most religious, Mormon place in Utah, and I guarantee there’s prostitution. It’s the same in the Baptist Bible Belt or Catholic Massachusetts. Did you know that Utah has one of the highest solicitations of pornography in the whole country? Why? You need to send a question to Ask A Perve.
As to your implication that enforcing prostitution laws is a waste of time, well, that is a moral issue. It’s like the drug war. The USA has spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting it, but is it better? No, it’s worse. But, we still fight it. Prostitutes have been here since humans have been here. I think I heard there is Neanderthal prostitution cave art down in Mesa Verde. Although we know we can never stop it, we still try. Why? That’s not for me to answer, but I’d imagine a reasonable citizen says it has something to do with morals, not to mention the other issues it attracts: Drugs, rape, misogyny, violence, disturbing the peace, etc.
Did you know that Craigslist recently removed their prostitution advertisement section? Did it go away? Well no, not really. If you can’t get anyone to respond to Layton off of Craigslist, I suggest you try backpage.com. That’s where the cops are cruising for dates now, and they seem to be pretty successful.

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