The Intercept: Group that opposes sex work gave money to prosecutors’ offices – and got stings against johns in return

Number 28039
Subject Prostitution
Source The Intercept
State
Year 2018
Publication Date March 24, 2018
Summary This was an investigative piece that relied heavily on documents obtained through FOIA requests and revealed that prosecutors around the country were receiving millions of dollars in funding from an anti-prostitution advocacy group that required them in return to conduct raids on brothels and stings against sex work clients. In particular, internal documents showed that in exchange for nearly $200,000 in funding, the advocacy group essentially required the King County prosecutors’ office and their law enforcement to erroneously label criminal cases they were pursuing as sex trafficking even though there was no evidence of trafficking in these cases. At one point, the advocacy group was even allowed to edit a press release issued by the prosecutors about these cases to include terms like “sex trafficking.” Legal scholars said that the King County prosecutors may have violated their own professional codes of conduct that restricts them from making sensationalistic “extra-judicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused.” My article was the first to show that the independent judgement of law enforcement in King County and other jurisdictions may have been compromised by the strings-attached funding from Demand Abolition, the anti-prostitution group.
Category Contest Entry
Pages
Keywords sex trafficking, prostitution, prosecutor misconduct, Demand Abolition, criminal justice system, advocacy organization, district attorney
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