Charges will not be filed against Robert Kraft, but the last charges have been filed against four individuals connected to the Orchids of Asia day spa. Prosecutors say that the day spa was actually a front for prostitution. The owners have been charged with soliciting another to commit prostitution, deriving support from prostitution, and running a business of ill repute.
Forty-one-year-old Lei Wang will plead guilty to one count of soliciting another to perform prostitution, a first-degree misdemeanor. If Wang completes 100 hours of community service, pays a $5,000 fine, and otherwise fulfills the terms of her probation, then the conviction will be removed from her record.
Wang faced charges alongside three other women. Hers is the last case to come from a case that made major headlines but failed to result in any serious convictions. The plea will result in the dropping of charges of deriving support from prostitution and operating a bawdyhouse.
Is Prostitution a First-Amendment Issue?
The First Amendment allows for a range of expression that goes well beyond speech. As an example, two gay men engaging in sexual intercourse are expressing their affection for one another. Sodomy laws that are still on the books are no longer enforced. If they were, you can guess that the First Amendment would be one of a number of issues raised by defense counsel.
So what about prostitution? Does the First Amendment protect prosecution? Just such an argument was raised in San Francisco, a place known for its social liberalism. There, an argument was defeated that posited that prohibitions on prostitution constitute a violation of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment (due process to earn a living, due process for sexual privacy).
The lawsuit was filed by a coalition known as the Erotic Service Provider Legal Education and Research Project. They provided the same example used above, a sodomy law that was enforced in Texas called Lawrence v. Texas that struck down criminal bans on sodomy. The 9th circuit court, however, ruled that prostitution is not an intimate expression of the sort protected by Lawrence v. Texas. They further ruled that prostitution does not qualify as “protected commercial speech” and that there is no right to engage in illegal employment.
It was a tough loss for sex workers all over the country who may only be paid for their services if they do their work before a camera. The court cited several justifications for the law including “human trafficking”, STDs, and violence against women, none of which are actually related to prostitution. As an example, you don’t see porn actresses unsafely copulating with fellow actors and the porn industry has not been implicated in human trafficking, at least not in legitimate businesses. So this boils down, once again, to religious objections and justifications which will be easier to overcome in San Francisco than in Florida.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a serious crime, call the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to learn more about how we can protect your future.