Prostitution in Rhode Island was outlawed in On November 3,Republican Governor Donald Carcieri ed into law a bill which makes the buying and selling of sexual services a crime.
Prostitution was legal in Rhode Island between and because there was no specific statute to define the act and outlaw it, although associated activities were illegal, such as street solicitation, running a brothel, and pimping. With the passing of the law, Nevada became the only U. Exchanging sex for money is illegal, for both the prostitute and the customer, and is classified as a misdemeanor.
The law offers no provision to allow a judge to expunge the record of the customers. The crime is also classified as a misdemeanor. Prostitution was decriminalized in Rhode Island inwhen the prostitution laws were amended, reducing prostitution from a felony to a misdemeanor.
The drafters of the law removed the section that addressed committing the act of prostitution itself, and only street solicitation remained illegal. It has been argued that the lawmakers who amended the Rhode Island prostitution laws in had decriminalized indoor prostitution by mistake, without realizing that the new laws were creating a " loophole.
He stated in"We probably vote on bills a year They didn't know what they were voting for. Revens Jr. He agreed, "They would never sponsor a bill decriminalizing prostitution if they knew what it was.
No way. Not in a million years. At the beginning oftwo bills were introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly which defined the crime of prostitution to include any location one bill, H, originated in the House, and the other, S, in the Senate. The most prominent proponent of criminalization was Representative Joanne Giannini D. The House voted on this with amendments on May 13, and the bill passed to the Senate Committee on May 28 where it remained until the Assembly recessed for the summer.
The Judiciary Committee conducted hearings on June The Senate hearings attracted much media attention. Asian spa workers, recruited by Tara Hurleytestified against the bill.
The Committee recommended version Sub A by a vote of which was voted on in the Senate the following day and referred to the House. As both the House and the Senate recessed, two separate versions of prostitution bills remained. Both chambers had to approve a single identical bill in order for it to be sent to the Governor, for him to it into law. The two bills differed in the levying of punishment.
The Senate version of the bill called for staggered penalties for first, second, and third offenses. The House version of the bill called for no penalties for landlords but contained stiffer penalties for prostitutes and customers who were first-time offenders. Lynchand Governor Donald Carcieri called for the passage of the House version of the bill, with stiffer penalties for first-time offenders.
Brendan P. Doherty of the Rhode Island State Police testified that the police agency, "cannot support civil sanctions for such reprehensible acts. Two front- articles were published in the Providence Journal before the General Assembly returned for a special session, and Happy Endings?
The bill was sent to Governor Donald Carcieri to be ed into law.
In addition to the legislation's sponsors, the attendants at the ceremony included Rhode Island Atty. Patrick C. Lynch and State Police Col. State Police Col. Doherty said that the new law "sends a distinct message to any group which thinks they could use Rhode Island in furtherance of their illicit business".
On February 26,Providence police charged four women from two city spas on prostitution charges.
Three of the women were charged with prostitution, and one of the women was charged with permitting prostitution. On June 30,the first woman was allowed to have her prostitution records expunged under the new law.
Attorney General Patrick Lynch plans to appeal. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shut down a brothel operating in a first floor apartment in Providence and arrested two women. The main support for a full prostitution ban has come from the Governor, Attorney General, police,  Donna M.
CAT was formed by Donna M. In addition to RI Coalition Against Human Trafficking, opposition to the bill came from women's rights groups, anti-trafficking groups, sex workers, and sex educators. In the United States and other places, there are few resources and little support readily available for male sex workers working or living on the streets.
They may be at a higher risk for health problems and abuse. Male street prostitutes may have issues such as drug addiction. Offering support and health care to such stigmatized people can be difficult due to a reluctance to disclose information about their work to health care professionals, which can also make male prostitutes difficult to identify in order to reach out to.
In recent years some organizations directed specifically at helping male sex workers have been founded and some studies have begun being done on this little-studied population. For example, Richard Holcomba former sex worker, founded 'Project Weber',  a harm reduction program in ProvidenceRhode Island that offers resources and support to male sex workers living on the streets, including a needle exchange and HIV testing.
Holcomb cited the lack of data available on male commercial sex workers in the region as his reason for helping develop a survey to assess the needs of this population. Project Weber recruited and surveyed 50 male sex workers living on the streets of Providence. Holcomb cited the fact that he and members of his team are former sex workers themselves as one of the primary reasons why they were able to gain access to the men in order to conduct this survey.
Holcomb has also created several documentaries meant to draw attention to the subjects of male street prostitution and drug use. Rhode Island portal. Providence Journal. Archived from the original on 13 November Retrieved Archived from the original on 2 November Archived from the original on 31 October Archived from the original on 1 June Retrieved 16 April Rhode Island Catholic. The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on 22 June Senate panel OKs bill outlawing indoor prostitution".
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