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Nevada has a total of 19 brothels as of this writing. When she was 17, Bekah Charleston ran away from home in Texas. A trafficker sold her into servitude in a Nevada brothel.
My trafficker would use the brothels as a form of punishment. Much of the justification for the legal sex industry in Nevada is that state and local laws protect sex workers. Brothel employees must register with local police and submit to weekly tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia, and once a month for HIV and syphilis. Condoms are mandatory for all sexual contact.
Legal sex workers have emergency buttons that summon security if needed. Access to legal brothels is highly restricted. Barnes says that because brothels are closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the state is forcing sex workers out of the legal setting and into an unregulated, illegal industry.
Few dispute that the illegal sex trade is inherently dangerous. For Barnes, the closure of legal brothels affords a glimpse of what a brothel ban would look like. She told the stories of women who worked at the Mustang Ranch but left Nevada to work as escorts in other states when the brothel closed due to COVID concerns.
He bit her nose off all the way to the right of her face, bit her cheek on the right side and ripped it all the way to the left. They were raped. They were robbed. They were pistol whipped, tied with the cords. Barnes is angry that massage parlors and other high-contact businesses like tattoo parlors and hair salons are allowed to operate, and brothels remain closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Barnes said she has never encountered a trafficked person working in the legal setting.
She said that every worker must submit to an FBI background check and scoffed at the notion of a trafficked person being hidden in a legal brothel. In an effort to stymie the sex trade doing business as massage parlors, on Feb. Massage therapists are trained and d therapists who provide a service with no sexual component.
A massage parlor will likely not have a certified massage therapist. Around-the-clock operations are prohibited. No tinted exterior windows are allowed, and no ATM machines can be on site. The cities of Reno and Las Vegas grant s to escort and outcall services. Both cities have licensing stipulations that prohibit sexual commerce as part of companionship or massage services.
Business owners must pass a background check. Right now, companionship customers in Las Vegas or Reno can choose among body types, hair colors, bust sizes, and ethnicity. Many of the images are explicitly sexual in implication. Using sexually suggestive advertising to market escort services is prohibited in Las Vegas. In a brief response, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said they are not ignoring the problem and are working to enforce the law and thwart traffickers.
Vice detectives work 7 days a week in both investigative and enforcement capacities. Vice Detectives conduct various proactive operations to combat prostitution and the crime associated with it. Sergeant Scott Smith supervises the team of four detectives, and according to Smith, they take a victim-centered approach.
Their top priority is to find victims and, with the assistance of community service providers, help the them get out from under what amounts to modern-day slavery. And they have their quotas where they are sending these girls out to do these dates with these Johns. And we have to prove that. To truly combat the problem, traffickers must not only be arrested but successfully prosecuted. The unit launched in January The pandemic slowed early activity, but since fully organizing, the team has arrested 66 individuals for sex trafficking, and with those arrests came over felony charges.
During the same timeframe, the unit provided services for 55 victims. That includes temporary housing, food, clothing, vocational training, and job placement. With four detectives in the year-old group, the problem is ongoing. All but unseen to the public, human trafficking is a reality in Nevada. Smith said community education and involvement is essential. Sergeant Smith said many trafficked people are runaways, though they come from both stable and unstable families. He emphasized that traffickers are highly manipulative and controlling. Thompson said that the illegal sex trade focuses on those who are vulnerable — immigrants, people in poverty, young people in the foster care system, and people with disabilities.
Based on interviews with those who have been rescued from sexual slavery by advocates and law enforcement, the foster care system is a major pipeline that supplies vulnerable young people to the sex trade. They age out of foster care. Seeking Arrangement is a site that entices college-aged women to date for money.
The way for you to just get through college is to prostitute yourself. The Governor is named in his official capacity only. The complaint, filed in March in the US District Court of Nevada, requested that the state declare the laws that legalize brothels be deemed null and void, along with the county codes that enable legal prostitution in Elko, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Storey, and White Pine counties. The complaint claimed that the plaintiffs were directly impacted and harmed by virtue of the existence of the legal sex industry.
Having a legal system creates a context for a much larger and totally unregulated sex industry that is rife with trafficked people. Again, with a wink and a nod, and they basically escort services.
And they require escorts to get some sort of physical examination or health examination once a year. But everybody knows that the crime of prostitution is not enforced. In Las Vegas, I mean, good grief. The district court dismissed the case. The plaintiffs appealed. On Dec. The era of Jeffrey Epstein. Melissa Holland serves as the founder and director of Awaken, based in Reno. Sinceaccording to Holland, Awaken has helped roughly women get out of sexual slavery. Holland says having a legal sex trade sets a context that creates a massive illegal sex trade.
We get to look at women as that potential. As a result, our whole state has become a sex-tourism state. Jennifer Barnes disagrees and says legal brothels are not responsible for the illegal sex trade in Nevada. And now, the ones that are choosing to do the legal side are being pushed to be on the illegal side [by being closed to prevent the transfer of the coronavirus]. Nevada lawmakers rejected an effort to ban brothels in the state during the Legislative Session.
Senate Bill died without a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Legislature approved a concurrent resolution that directs the Legislative Commission to create an interim committee to study the working conditions at d brothels, but no meetings have occurred to date. For Sergeant Smith and the detectives in his unit, some have kids the same age as many trafficked juveniles, so his team is motivated.
Whether brothels remain legal or not, a big challenge moving forward is to prevent those who have been trafficked from returning. Those women who run away from a bad foster situation when they are 12 or 13, have nowhere to live. They have videos made of them that are ed to Pornhub that last forever, and they come out of it later.
Brian Bahouth is the editor of the Sierra Nevada Ally and a career public media journalist. Support his work. Wednesday, October 6, in. Forgot your password? Get help. Password recovery. Sierra Nevada Ally.Nevada brothels statistics
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