Social Question

Tachys's avatar

Why not publish the Zumba Madam's prostitution list?

Asked by Tachys (1525points) October 14th, 2012

Greetings from Maine.

We are currently having a little controversy here. An alleged “madam” kept a list of her john’s names and acts performed. The names are supposed to be published, but there are some who feel that this will not only punish the johns, but their families as well.

My feeling is that if you can’t do the time (or are unable to face the consequences of your actions) don’t do the crime. Currently the decision to publish the names is being appealed to the state supreme court.

What do you think? Have you had or heard of a similar experience?

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35 Answers

phaedryx's avatar

Why are the names supposed to be published? What would the point be? Were they actually criminal acts?

I lean towards leaving the families alone.

ragingloli's avatar

Remind me, why again is the voluntary sexual intercourse between consenting adults of sound mind a criminal issue?

Tachys's avatar

Legalization of prostitution is a separate matter, which I’m for by the way. Currently, solicitation of a prostitute is a misdemeanor in Maine. People who commit misdemeanors have their names published in the police blotter, as would those arrested for drunk driving or drug possession. Would you argue not to publish those names as well?

wonderingwhy's avatar

If they’re public figures or in public service, yes, it should be published as I’d consider it in the publics best interest. Otherwise, it may be morally inept on the part of the john’s (assuming they’re in a relationship and have agreed to forgo such things) but it’s a private matter – unless communicable disease is involved. With that said, there should be no greater protection (or availability) than, say, that of a list of people who get speeding tickets. As to the greater consideration of privacy, I’d circumstantially argue against releasing it for private citizens unless a clear, overwhelming, issue of public safety was concerned.

CWOTUS's avatar

Have the people on the list been convicted of something? Have they even been tried? So far, their names appear on a private list… what is the criminal act in that?

If your name were on that list, would it make you a criminal?

poisonedantidote's avatar

Did any police officer catch all of the men on the list in the act, or is this just some unverified list? I would argue that some notes kept by a prostitute do not constitute reliable evidence.

Tachys's avatar

Apparently there are videos that go with the list. The people on the list are to be issued summonses.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@Tachys Are any people in the video seen handing over money, or soliciting, or is it just sex acts that could be done for free?

Is there a video for every name on the list? Does every video have evidence of soliciting and paying.

If the videos do show people soliciting and paying. What evidence is there, that it is not just role play between two people?

Sounds like you guys got a proper witch hunt going on.

wonderingwhy's avatar

Mercury News and MSNBC have articles that cover the basics.

poisonedantidote's avatar

@wonderingwhy I think I get what the last southpark episode was mocking now.

Tachys's avatar

Excellent question. I do not know. I do not think that information has been released.

Thank you @wonderingwhy for posting the links.

Remember the Scarlet Letter was written by Nathanial Hawthorne, a Maine author. We have history with this….

jca's avatar

The people on the list are innocent until proven guilty, and since they haven’t been convicted of anything, nor tried in court, why publish the list? And everything @poisonedantidote said.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why not publish it?

I can’t believe that people would go to a prostitute without giving thought to the possibility of appointment books, ledgers, customer lists, etc. Every business in the world collects that sort of stuff for advertising, customer service, and audit purposes.

Why would a brothel customer – most of whom are probably business people themselves, is my guess – think that the brothel owner would be any less a business person than they are?

Or said another way, if you want to keep your sexual life private, then don’t frequent business that sell sexual services.

I have no sympathy for the ‘johns’ in this case. They were stupid.

Coloma's avatar

IMO, while perhaps disclosure may be considered a consequence, what bothers me more is seeing, supposedly, upright and moral people pushing for a public lynching, so to speak, of those johns involved.
Is desiring to shame and humiliate another for their mistakes somehow better than the actual acts committed?

How do you reconcile your need to take pleasure in anothers shame and why is it your business anyway if you are not directly, involved with any of the johns?
That’s the real question!

Maybe self righteous busy bodies should have their names published so others can avoid them! lol

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I am totally against publicizing the name or address or any firm identifiers of anyone who has not yet been convicted of a crime. Aren’t we assumed innocent before proven guilty in this country? That would include public shaming under the cheap guise of “informing the public” as well. There are countries such as Sweden which follow this ethic and they get along just fine as do their newspapers.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus – oh please, we do that all the time when we name “suspects” and “persons of interest” in criminal cases. And for that matter, in civil cases too.

Just recently here in Atlanta, there were several city council people who were suspected of graft and embezzlement and they were named and the suspicions listed.

Why should sexually related ‘crimes’ be different?

I think it’s rather hypocritical to allow naming of people ion all legal matters except sexual ones.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I agree. They do that all the time in the states and I believe it is wrong in all cases. It has ruined many of innocents’ careers and personal lives for the sake of papers attracting the gawking masses— and because they do it all the time hardly makes it right. This practice has even caused killings. People are accused on page 1 and found not to be involved on page 22. It’s wrong and other countries also see it that way. There should be no identifiers for any crimes listed in the papers for people who have not been convicted at trial. The term ”alleged” just doesn’t do it. This is a base and barbaric practice reminiscent of the bloodthirsty mobs which crowded around the guillotines in Paris in the early 1790s.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I see that she just plead “Not Guilty” to the charges of prostitution and promoting prostitution. Her customers will not have that opportunity. They are effectively being convicted without trial.

Jaxk's avatar

That list is the Madams work product. Companies will spend a lot of money to get thier competitors customer list. Publishing that list is depriving the Madam of her work product. There should be some copyright infringement. Let it go, who really cares?

wundayatta's avatar

I think they should publish the names. I think names should be published for all these so-called sins, whether they are proven to have engaged in the conduct or not. I think people should denounce each other, and every denunciation should be published, regardless of proof.

This is the only way that people are going to come to realize how prevalent these behaviors are, and hopefully they will rethink the stigmatization of the behaviors. By some estimates, as many as 75% of people engage in extra-marital activities. Yet 95% of people disapprove of them. Just seems to me there’s a lot of hypocrisy. Maybe exposing the hypocrisy will get people to change their opinions about what is shameful activity.

flutherother's avatar

Why not publish? The list will be crammed full of aliases, nom de plumes and joke names anyway. I’d be dead against publication if it was in any way accurate as these people have done no harm to anyone and publication could cause great harm to them.

You talk about ‘consequences of their actions’ as if this was retribution from God. Don’t kid yourself, it would be nothing more than human malice.

LuckyGuy's avatar

This reminds me of the fake website that supposedly tells you where the sex offenders are in your neighborhood. You type in your address (that they collect) and it does a google earth map with SO houses marked. Nice, right? The problem is the whole thing is fake. It randomly picks houses. Do it a second time and the flagged houses are different. Meanwhile there are idiots who happen to look at the map and now think the widowed Mrs. McKeever is a convicted Class II sex offender.
The woman who circulated that link may not have shown where sex offenders live. However she did definitely show where an incredibly stupid person lives.

I can’t believe the names on the list are real. In fact, a clever customer could give the name of their nasty neighbor or loudmouth coworker. (That’s what I’d do.)

augustlan's avatar

Unless they are convicted of a crime, I wouldn’t want it published. (Even then, in this particular case, I wouldn’t care if it were never made public, but that wouldn’t be fair.)

tom_g's avatar

Ok, so even if we side-step the issue of why the hell prosititution is illegal in the first place, can someone explain to me what the argument is for publishing such data?

Let’s imagine a scenario. Joe is human and has human desires. He pays money and has sex with this prostitute. Some jackasses decide to publish his name for the town to see. This includes Joe’s daughter’s friends and classmates. It includes Joe’s wife’s friends and coworkers. The fallout for this would land squarely on the wife and daughter.

But oh – maybe we can’t side-step the whole issue because let’s remind us what Joe did again….He cheated on his wife. He cheated on his wife, and now his kids and wife must move out of town because everyone gets to read all about who he cheated with.

What Joe did was illegal, so he should deal with the consequences of his actions. What Joe did was wrong as well (in this fake scenario), because he was married and it wasn’t an open relationship. But Joe didn’t hurt society in some way. He’s not some rapist that we need to keep our kids away from.

wundayatta's avatar

@tom_g I can’t tell you what the argument is. Oh no. I can. It’s about shame. Don’t forget. This is Puritan New England we are talking about. There is a long history of shaming, glorified in many stories, as the OP points out. This is all about shame, shame, shame.

It’s a cultural sickness. It’s a leftover from a time when women needed to protect their economic circumstances and keep other women’s men from sniffing around. It’s a dysfunctional answer to people who can not acknowledge that sex is important and that sexual problems in a relationship should be able to be handled in this way, instead of breaking up the relationship. Unfortunately, that means secrecy, since nobody can be mature enough to handle the idea their spouse has multiple relationships, and nobody is willing to accept open relationships because of, well, you guessed it, shame.

It’s a shame, really.

LuckyGuy's avatar

It’s not just about shame. It’s about false accusation. No sane (shameful) person would use his own name. He would use a name of someone he knows – a neighbor or coworker. They will be accused falsely.
A lot of innocent John Smith’s are going to be paying for this debacle.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Does anyone want to bet how many George Bush and Mitt Romneys are on the list? I’ll say one of each.

To clarify, I am not for a second saying the real GB and MR did it. I’m just saying real customers used their names.

mazingerz88's avatar

I knew it. Should have been satisfied with eating lobster when I went to Maine. That list would now reveal a guy whose name was Mr. H. Ardick.

Tachys's avatar

Update: some of the names have been released. Not all. No ages or addresses are included so some people with the same or similar names are getting upset.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Tachys There you go! Guilty by association. Just wait until they publish ages and addresses. Those folks will be doomed. – even though it was most likely a “friend” or coworker using their name.
Thanks for the update.

~I signed my name as Auggie Powell. John is my brother.

mazingerz88's avatar

Well, one could refer to all of those clients as LuckyGuys. Heh. : )

LuckyGuy's avatar

After my prostate grows back I’m going to use the name: Zeke Mazinger. ;-)

Tachys's avatar

Well, here is what he police department has done. Have a look

I’m still divided. Part of me says publish, part of me says don’t. But, my name isn’t on the list. Yet.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh gosh. Look at their ages. If these men have wives, they should be ashamed of themselves. I hope the women are more ashamed than the men.

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