Do you know these men?
February 25, 2003 10:37 AM   Subscribe

Do you know these men? Recently, the Saint Paul Police Department released a picture online of two suspects who are wanted for an unsolved aggrevated assault case which occurred in December. Nobody who was at the party knew the men. It's fascinating seeing police departments use the Net for modern-day wanted posters. Incidentally, the Saint Paul Police Department also runs the infamous prositution arrest mugshots page.
posted by manero (46 comments total)
Where are all the prostitutes that serve the upper classes? You know, the attractive ones? St. Paul doesn't arrest and prosecute them? They only arrest poor prostitutes and "johns"? Imagine that; a police program that targets only the poor...
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:49 AM on February 25, 2003

The attractive ones don't walk the streets and make it obvious.

I think it's great that the police use the web in this way. Those two guys will get caught eventually.
posted by Witty at 10:53 AM on February 25, 2003

Gad, the prostitute page depressed me more that I figured it would.
posted by thirteen at 11:00 AM on February 25, 2003

I don't know what's more pathetic: The women prostituting themselves or the men who might pay to have sex with them.
posted by stevefromsparks at 11:08 AM on February 25, 2003

..yes but I'm wondering how Mr.Steven Crooks planned to pick up a lady of the night on a bicycle? Would he have then just pedalled over to a motel, with her piggybacking? Maybe he had a tandem? And why is Christobal Martin Mota looking so happy?
posted by Damienmce at 11:13 AM on February 25, 2003

Ah, St. Paul, my hometown. That first guy in the assault photo is Damien from The Omen, I think.

They named their beer party "Christmas in the Ghetto"?
posted by GaelFC at 11:16 AM on February 25, 2003

the guy with the red eyes is obviously satan.
spot the quonsar lookalike on the second link haha.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:31 AM on February 25, 2003

from the other unsolved crimes page:
A cash reward of up to $9,100 can be yours, and as always, no one will ask your name.
How does that work?
Cop: "So, sir, you say you're the guy who fingered the bankrobber? Can I see some ID?"
Me: "But...but..."
posted by dash_slot- at 11:34 AM on February 25, 2003

Well, sir, he had evil eyes! That's how I know he did it!

I hope my mug shots are far more flattering.
posted by fijiwriter at 11:36 AM on February 25, 2003

Using the web to find people is a great idea. Using the web to punish and stigmatize people before they're proven guilty like the prostitution arrest photos is repulsive.
posted by substrate at 11:37 AM on February 25, 2003

How is using the web to "punish and stigmatize people" any different than publishing the picture of some football star who was arrested for some stupid event they haven't been convicted of? If anything, this is how it should be - fair treatment for all - you get your picture even if you're not famous. These people have been arrested, and that's part of the public record. I think it's a great idea.
posted by stormy at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2003

I'll go on the record as stating that arresting people for victimless, consensual behaviour is reprehensible.
posted by PigAlien at 12:05 PM on February 25, 2003

A witness took this photo just before the assault occurred.

"Hmmm....these two guys look about ready to urinate. Better take their picture."
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:08 PM on February 25, 2003

A popular Twin Cities radio station (KQRS) links the prostitution (or "pimps 'n hoes") page on their website and make regular references to it. I guess one listener, as a prank, copied the page and put a friend's picture on it and sent it around. The humor in it is debatable.
posted by MrAnonymous at 12:24 PM on February 25, 2003

It's bogus publishing photo's of prostitution arrests when they are pending. Even on COPS they blur peoples faces later proved innocent.

Just because the web makes it easy to "publish" something, this does not make it a good idea.

Now, featuring a list of people I don't like with embarrassing accusations, george bush is a duck rapist!
posted by xtian at 12:32 PM on February 25, 2003

PigAlien: Judging by those pictures, it's hard to conclude no victimization is going on. I'm all for private, consensual conduct, but most street prostitution is not the former and only debatably the latter. None of the sex workers in those pictures look like they were making informed choices or acting responsibly. From both a public-safety and public-health perspective, preventing that conduct is entirely appropriate.
posted by subgenius at 12:37 PM on February 25, 2003

The attractive ones don't walk the streets and make it obvious.

Right, they only take out ads in the Yellow Pages under "Escort Services".
posted by jpoulos at 12:45 PM on February 25, 2003

My only comment on that page is, don't you guys have any teenage hookers?

Oh, and if your neighbour drives a chevy then look at him funny... ;)
posted by twine42 at 12:56 PM on February 25, 2003

My favorite john name: "Stephen Pumper."

heh heh. heh heh.
posted by darren at 1:31 PM on February 25, 2003

Once while attending the court hearing of a close male friend, I was subject to waiting while they processed the female suspects first. One woman, who was QUITE obviously both mentally and physically handicapped, was among them. She was not what would be considered within the range of what would be considered even marginally attractive or even average looks by any stretch of the imagination. My heart immediately went out to her and I couldn't help but wonder what on earth could this woman have done that deserved her arrest and trial. She kept demanding to see her priest throughout the proceedings. It was incredibly sad. Finally they called her name and I found out. She had a record of 27 arrests for prostitution. I was completely taken aback, shocked and horrified. Who on earth would pay to have sex with this poor, pathetic woman? Obviously very many had with that many arrests. I never forgot the experience as I was quite young at the time and it was a strong lesson in the behavior of men.
posted by SweetIceT at 1:37 PM on February 25, 2003

it's hard to conclude no victimization is going on. I'm all for private, consensual conduct, but most street prostitution is not the former and only debatably the latter.

The best description I've heard of it is consensual rape. For some people it's no big deal and worth the money. People will do a lot for money, including working in coal mines with high mortality rates, and if you asked them they'd say they wouldnt do anything else. There is "victimization" going on all over the place just depends how you want to look at it. This MeFi thread points to a good radio program about the life of a real pimp, not what your taught in movies.

Coal miners and hookers are the same. But if you base judgement on adverse health alone there are much worse jobs than being a hooker. We call prostitution irresponsible for moral reasons. It can lead to the breakup of familys when dads out cheating, in general it's the women of society who most oppose it, not the men. If Congress were all bachelors prostitution would probably be legalized, and much more humane in the process, but what married man in his right mind would vote his wife would be like "hmmm!". America is one of the few countrys in the world where it is illegal and also has some very bad conditions since it's underground. You can blame men or you can blame women, it's a human condition.
posted by stbalbach at 2:11 PM on February 25, 2003

Did anyone else find the link on the bottom of the mugshot page as misleading as I did: "Prostitution Menu"?
posted by jdiaz at 2:48 PM on February 25, 2003

Even on COPS they blur peoples faces later proved innocent.

Actually Cops blur your face unless you sign a release in return for a bit of cash that cannot be enough to compensate you for having your unblurred face on Cops.
posted by thirteen at 3:04 PM on February 25, 2003

Subgenius, if prostitution is consensual rape and the prostitutes are indeed victims, why are we arresting the victim?

Or are the Johns the victims?

If we're arresting them both, that means that there must not be any victims. Thus, it is a victimless crime.

Unless, of course, you believe society is the victim. Which brings us to your first point - privacy. Perhaps the answer to that problem is to give people somewhere else private and safe to conduct their consensual relations.

Oops, that's right. I forgot we're living in America. Won't happen anytime soon.
posted by PigAlien at 3:48 PM on February 25, 2003

I'll go on the record as stating that arresting people for victimless, consensual behaviour is reprehensible.

So PigAlien, what's your definition of victimless, conconsensual behavior?
A woman beaten by her pimp so she'll go out and sell sex even when she's sick?
A mother who relies on the prostitution income from her children to support the family?
The prostitutes who rip off their customers in a trick roll, or try to rip off their customers and get beaten to death because they won't give back the money?
Or the prostitutes who get raped?
I'm still not sure if I support prostitution, but if we do allow it, it's got to be in regulated brothels like we have in Nevada.
posted by stevefromsparks at 4:12 PM on February 25, 2003

stevefromsparks: Assault, child abuse, rape, and robbery are not victimless, consensual behaviour, and it's disingenuous to imply that they're the same thing as, or inextricable from, a consensual contract to exchange money for sex.
posted by biscotti at 4:53 PM on February 25, 2003

I hit post too soon, I meant to add: these people were arrested for prostitution, or solicitation thereof, not assault, rape, child abuse or robbery, so how does your comment in any way address the quote from PigAlien you seem to be addressing?
posted by biscotti at 4:56 PM on February 25, 2003

PigAlien, I did not say prostitution was consensual rape -- which is actually an oxymoron unless we want to quibble about people who are incapable of consenting, such as children. I said that the act of prostitution falls fairly within two well-accepted, core state powers: Protecting public health and protecting public safety. In other words, the government can prohibit prostitution for the same reason that it can regulate such apposite conduct as food preparation and boxing.

You're also missing out on an interesting facet to this issue: Even if I accept the argument that prostitution is generally consensual (which would require a fairly peculiar conversation about the role of pimps), this is not state regulation of private, consensual activity. It is regulation of a private, consensual, commercial activity. All of these people could have legally met on the streets of Saint Paul and had night after night of glorious, toe-tingling sex if they hadn't commercialized it. But, of course, that never would have happened. It's only the commercialization of sex that puts prostitutes, pimps, and johns on the streets -- thereby threatening the public health and safety for all of the reasons discussed above by other people.

It's very easy to think of prostitution in the abstract -- as something that happens between self-interested, rational actors (such as Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, ha ha ha) -- but that construction falls apart when you live in an area that is affected by prostitution. The whole community pays a price -- and there's no doubt that the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul has suffered -- which is why this is such a noncontroversial area of regulation.
posted by subgenius at 5:10 PM on February 25, 2003

Ninety minutes later, I've come up with another way of explaining this issue: Despite the fact that contracts are a very private way of explaining (and regulating) conduct, the act of contracting could be considered a public act -- and therefore subject to regulation that otherwise private, consensual conduct is not.

Nevertheless, I still think it's the commodification of sex (through prostitution) that turns otherwise private, consensual acts into part of an industry that imports numerous health hazards and criminal acts -- from loitering and harassment to drug dealing to sexual and violent assaults to murder -- into our most vulnerable communities.

So, to sum up my three posts (and respond to Biscotti): Prostitution is subject to regulation because it is not normatively consensual, it is never private, and it is not victimless.
posted by subgenius at 6:57 PM on February 25, 2003

All I know is next time I'm in the Twin Cities I'm staying the Hell outta "Frogtown"(!).That area of St. Paul must be zoned "ugly".
posted by MikeMc at 7:41 PM on February 25, 2003

Does St. Paul realize that using the Web to publicize their prostitution problem is negative publicity? I've never been tempted by Boston's streetwalkers but, relative to Minnesota, we've got a crop of swimsuit models.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:05 PM on February 25, 2003

My mom grew up in Frogtown in the '30s. It was poor then, and it's poorer now. It's a shame.
posted by GaelFC at 10:49 PM on February 25, 2003

I still don't understand why prostitution is illegal in most countries.

An adult woman (or man, should that be the case) should be able to do with their body as they want. Sure, if they're being treated poorly, that's wrong, but that's a labour issue. And don't tell me that all whores take crack, 'cause I can make a case with that reasoning that says all yuppies take crack.
posted by shepd at 12:54 AM on February 26, 2003

Subgenius: prostitution is not 'regulated'. Its illegal. Unless you're in Nevada. The answer to all of the questions you pose is in fact to regulate prostitution, but it can only be regulated if its made legal. I am in favor of legalization and regulation. Then you would get rid of all these 'problems' you mention. It is unjust to arrest these people for engaging in a consensual 'commercial' transaction, as you call it. As for pimps, how does it help to arrest the poor prostitute who's a victim of the pimp anyway, while Mr. Macho Pimp sits at home screwin' one of his other bitches?
posted by PigAlien at 5:18 AM on February 26, 2003

...and I actually live in the part of town many people would refer to as a 'ghetto'. Until a year ago, there were 2 crack houses within a block of my house and dealers on my corner. I'm well aware of the effect prostitution and drugs have on a neighborhood. That doesn't mean I have any desire to lock the prostitutes up. Give them somewhere to go where they can be safe and get them and their customers off the streets. Then, if you choose to arrest streetwalkers, you can say, 'hey, we're not arresting you for wanting to make a living, we're arresting you for doing it on the street.'
posted by PigAlien at 5:25 AM on February 26, 2003

Hell, in the Netherlands, they even let them walk the streets in designated zones.
posted by PigAlien at 5:26 AM on February 26, 2003

Funny, the women were better-looking in the movie.

do YOU know a better post-apocalyptic with mutant frogs that also stars "Rowdy" Roddy Piper? I think not.
posted by Vidiot at 6:32 AM on February 26, 2003

PigAlien: I would define the state's power over this activity to include the power to absolutely prohibit it. I don't understand why you think the government has to allow a commercial transaction simply because it's consensual. (By analogy, I would have very little problem with a state that bans boxing, particularly if the boxing is for commercial purposes.) Each of these people has a fundamental right to have sex, but I don't think they have any cognizable liberty interest in paying (or being paid) for it.

Why should taxpayers have to pay for the creation and administration of a regulatory agency to oversee these transactions? It's probably much less expensive just to patrol the streets, and I'm not convinced that legalizing prostitution (and adding the costs associated with running a legitimate business) would have much of an affect on illicit prostitution in poor neighborhoods.
posted by subgenius at 9:18 AM on February 26, 2003

The state can assume the power to prohibit anything, Subgenious. Right now, they're in the process of rewriting the constitution so they can hold American citizens indefinitely without trial or any other constitutional rights as 'enemy combatants'. I don't think just because the state can that gives it the moral authority. As far as taxpayers paying for regulatory bodies, there is something called 'taxes' which prostitutes and/or Johns would have to pay were it legalized. I think the general principal is that taxes often finance the regulation of the business which generates them.
posted by PigAlien at 10:26 AM on February 26, 2003

PigAlien: We're talking about the Great State of Minnesota here, which does not have the same limitations as the federal government. And I don't think "moral authority" is particularly relevant in a discussion about selling sex for money. While I'm open to the possibility that taxation would pay for regulation of prosecution, I'm not convinced that could happen without inflating prices to the point where illicit prosititution would consider.

This is an interesting issue, but I'm afraid we're beating a dead horse. You've made a lot of good points, I just think we have different ideas about the role of government.
posted by subgenius at 11:51 AM on February 26, 2003

Street prostitution is not a victimless crime if it's happening in your neighborhood, on your street, in front of your house or business. It's decidedly unpleasant to have to run the gauntlet of hookers and their customers just to go to and from your own home or place of work. If you're male, the hookers hit on you. If you're female, the johns hit on you. Be prepared to be harrassed, insulted, even spat on by these people for intruding on "their" turf, too.

It's bad enough for adults who live or work in a prostitution-infested neighborhood. It's even worse for kids. This doesn't always go on in poor neighborhoods, either, blue collar and middle class areas, and commercial areas can be infested with hookers too.

The 24-7 noise and disruption from these activities is offensive, and the inevitable refuse is disgusting and dangerous. The victims of this victimless crime are the ones who have to pick up used condoms and syringes (and worse) from their own yards and sidewalks because "sex trade workers" and their customers are too damn lazy to throw them in the trash and too nasty to use a restroom instead of your doorway or flower beds to relieve themselves.

If ever there was a justification for NIMBY, it's street prostitution.
posted by filifera at 11:52 AM on February 26, 2003

Filifera: I live in a neighborhood where such problems are common. I don't believe the answer is putting these people in jail. Laws prohibiting prostitution are based solely on moral objections and nothing else. Any other problems caused by prostitution are a result of its illegality in the first place. If you have a moral objection to prostitution, then I have no argument for you. Otherwise, society should focus on allowing or helping people to meet their needs rather than standing in their way.
posted by PigAlien at 12:30 PM on February 26, 2003

Prostitution is quasi-legal in Canada. I have lived in Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary, where in each case neighborhoods were overwhelmed by street prostitution.

Residents in these areas had to resort to vigilantism in some cases (street patrols, videotaping, picketing, following johns, etc.) to rid their neighborhoods of this pest, because the police were overruled by the supreme court and could no longer enforce prostitution laws.
posted by filifera at 2:00 PM on February 26, 2003

Only a small fraction of those who drive drunk get into a car accident. But we regulate drunk driving because it's a high risk behavior. Sex for money on the street generally isn't as risky as drunk driving, but it causes a great deal of problems. Street level prostitution absolutely is inextricable from many of the ills in our cities, including those I cited. Same thing with hard drugs like cocaine and heroin. If you don't believe it, talk to a veteran cop or a social worker. They laugh at the term "victimless crime." I said in my original post if we do allow prostitution, it's got to be in regulated brothels that greatly reduce these problems.
posted by stevefromsparks at 2:02 PM on February 26, 2003

stevefromsparks: we don't "regulate" drunk driving, it's a crime which people are prosecuted for. We don't "regulate" prostitution either, it's also a crime people are prosecuted for. "Regulation" implies legality. My main point was just that the OTHER crimes mentioned (assault, rape, robbery, child abuse) are not prostitution, and that it's perfectly possible for prostitution to exist in a victimless, consensual fashion. As with drug use, I'm of the opinion that prostitution's illegality (and therefore lack of regulation) is what makes it so dangerous in the first place. As for cops' laughing at the term "victimless crime", please, in many cities the police are among the most vocal proponents of decriminalization of drugs like cannabinoids, simply because their use IS a victimless crime, and the cops know that better than anyone.
posted by biscotti at 2:59 PM on February 26, 2003

Passing laws making it illegal is regulation. We've regulated drinking and driving by saying it's acceptable if your blood alcohol is less than .10 percent (.08 percent in most states) and it's illegal if it's higher. Passing laws making it legal, as we've done here with prostitution in Nevada, is also regulation. The difference is that we have prostitution in brothels where consensual sex is exchanged under certain guidelines (condom use required, prostitutes screened for STDs, prostitutes taught to inspect men for STDs, etc.) and with protection for both parties. Or all three parties, if you've got enough money.
Just like it's perfectly possible for prostitution to exist in a victimless, consensual fashion, it's perfectly possible to get drunk and drive home without wrapping your car around a telephone pole or smashing into another driver.
People don't get drunk and drive their vehicles with the intent of getting into wrecks. Johns don't solicit streetwalkers with the intent of getting mugged or getting a trick roll. Prostitutes don't offer sex in exchange for money with the intent of being dragged into a van and gang raped. We've passed laws regulating those behaviors because there's a significant risk for trouble.
Regulating it in brothels greatly reduces the risks.
Cops might want to decriminalize marijuana, but you don't hear of many cops wanting to decriminalize cocaine or heroin, which some lump into the victimless crime category.
posted by stevefromsparks at 3:23 PM on February 26, 2003

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