Two escort services in the state are working to bring sexy back. They’ve filed a federal lawsuit to halt Utah’s solicitation law.
Since earlier this month, Utah defines solicitation as a person agreeing to sex in exchange for money and showing through lewd acts, such as exposing or touching themselves, they intend to exchange sex for money.
Attorney Andrew McCullough, whose clients filed the lawsuit May 9, told the Associated Press the law could be used by police to harass businesses protected under the first amendment by arresting licensed employees of escort services or strip clubs for doing their jobs. “Most girls who touch their breasts are not telling you they’re open for sex,” he said.
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Police, however, defend the law, saying it intends to help law enforcement agents working undercover in prostitution stings by protecting them from prostitutes who ask them to expose or touch themselves to prove they’re not police. “Officers were being put in a position that we’re not going to allow, so we took a different direction,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank.
Utah House Minority Whip, Jennifer Seelig, who sponsored the bill, said the law targets prostitutes — particularly underage ones forced into the sex trade and trained to evade arrest. The arrest would be a precursor to getting them off the streets, she said.
But while Seelig says she worked with many different groups, including defense attorneys, to overcome legal issues, history may not be on their side. McCullough says the law is “virtually identical” to one deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge in 1988.
While we don’t condone prostitution, NewsFeed hopes this law doesn’t get taken too far. We’d rather not get arrested for flirting. (Via AP)