Utah, apparently a hotbed of prostitution, appears to have had some trouble enforcing its anti-solictitation laws. Under Utah law, “solicitation” is defined as follows:
76-10-1313. Sexual solicitation
(1) A person is guilty of sexual solicitation when:
(a) he offers or agrees to commit any sexual activity with another person for a fee; or
(b) he pays or offers or agrees to pay another person to commit any sexual activity for a fee. (source)
That wasn’t good enough for the Utah legislature.
A new law that went into effect this month broadened the definition to include any person who indicates through lewd acts, such as exposing or touching themselves, that they intend to exchange sex for money. (source)
Think about that. If someone “indicates” that they “intend” to exchange sex for money… so much for any productive strippers. For that matter, so much for any first dates.
Of course, lets look at the rationale for the law…
Utah House Minority Whip Jennifer Seelig, D-Salt Lake City, who sponsored the bill during the 2011 legislative session, said she worked with many different groups, including defense attorneys, to iron out legal issues with the law.
The intent is to target prostitutes, especially underage ones who are forced into the sex trade and trained to evade arrest, Seelig said. The arrest would be the first step in helping them get off the streets, she said. (source)
Ah yes, the underage sex slave myth. Every time you see a restriction on civil liberties pushed by someone with a religious or feminist agenda, you’ll find this bullshit at the bottom of the glass of Kool Aid they just asked you to drink.
Fortunately, my First Amendment Lawyer’s Association brother, Andrew McCullough, is fighting the law.
Andrew McCullough, an attorney representing the escort services in the lawsuit filed May 9, said the law is so broad that it could allow police to arrest licensed employees of sexually oriented businesses, such as escort services or strip club dancers, for doing their job.
The expanded law includes language that makes a person exposing their genitals or touching themselves sexually an indication that they are offering sex. Those acts are legal in Utah for private strippers.
“Most girls who touch their breasts are not telling you they’re open for sex,” the attorney said. (source)