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Prostitution Legal In Rhode Island

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Finally a state has grown a brain and legalized prostitution. Well, not exactly. There is no specific law on the books in Rhode Island against prostitution occuring indoors, just against street walkers. Several cases have recently been thrown out.


Although soliciting sexual favors on the street is illegal in Rhode Island, authorities say a loophole in state law allows prostitution behind closed doors — including in storefronts that advertise as massage parlors and spas just blocks from City Hall.

"We don't have a law criminalizing prostitution indoors," said Providence Police Lt. Thomas Verdi, who leads the department's anti-prostitution efforts.

Police and city officials have pushed for legislation to toughen anti-prostitution laws, although some say adding more laws to punish prostitutes is unnecessary.

State law prohibits loitering for the purpose of prostitution, as well as harboring or transporting prostitutes. But the sale of sex indoors is not specifically banned.

Verdi said police have raided nearly every suspect spa and massage parlor in Providence and charged women there with prostitution, but the charges were thrown out because they are not doing anything illegal.

Related on Diggers Realm:

Legalizing Prostitution
The Attack On Strippers And Strip Clubs
Weekly Poll: "Should Prostitution Be Legalized?"
Weekly Poll Results: "Should Prostitution Be Legalized?"

Tipped by: Outside The Beltway

Other Commentary:

Rusty's headed up there for a "vacation".

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Posted by Digger on September 12, 2005 11:01 PM (Permalink)

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Uh, Digger? IIRC Neveda has had legal brothels for years.

I'd MUCH rather see legal brothels where health codes are enforced.

Posted by: Darleen on September 13, 2005 12:31 AM

well sure, but that was YEARS ago. I haven't seen the downfall of our health care system being because Nevada legalized prostitution. You are of course right in regards to the health concerns.

My argument for legalized prostitution is that it all comes down to a moral argument in the end for having it illegal. In general moral means "religious reasons" which brings it full circle to the point that having a law against it is a separation of church (or in this case religion) and state issue.

Posted by: Digger on September 13, 2005 02:18 AM

As a homeowner in a transitional part of town, I was none too happy to find out our new neighbor is a prostitute. Before you consider me a religious zealot (I don't have a religion), consider my argument. Before this woman came to our block, we were friendly with all the neighbors and we all spent time in our yards hanging out and keeping up with one another.

Now our neighbors don't send their kids outside because there are nearly hourly drug deals in front of this woman's house. Also, she's apparently not good enough at her trade to afford a telephone. If the constant screaming, fighting, beating on the door, calling the cops and drug-dealing ended, I could get over the fact that a prostitute is across the street. I don't care what she does in there. The cops say there is nothing they can do. Is that why they have been to her house nearly 30 times since september!!

If you think Rhode Island "has grown a brain," you might want to visit before cementing that opinion.

As for prostitution, if it's legal, then she should be paying taxes and keeping the peace like the rest of us. There is no red light district for her to call home, so we are victims of her culture with no rights to assert our previous way of life.

Posted by: PrositutesNeighbor on March 20, 2006 03:54 PM

Well she's a criminal in other ways and obviously trashy. Even non-prostitutes act like that in neighborhoods. I've had to deal with it in the past with people who weren't prostitutes.

I feel for you, but I really don't see how her prostitution alone is the problem. Obviously drugs and/or alcohol are the real issue.

Posted by: Digger on March 21, 2006 09:41 AM

You should read the translation from Russian of Mikhail Armalinsky's essay on prostitution "A She-Savior" that was published in Moscow edition of his Selected Works http://www.mipco.com/english/introVozn.html
I will be happy to send you the text as attachment or here is the
link: http://www.mipco.com/english/SheSavior.html
The translation is made by the prominent Slavic scholar Dr. Brian Baer.

The main idea of the essay "A She-Savior" is that the legalization of prostitution must be based on a return of its divine, sacred character, so that prostitution will be considered the most honorable profession, the one closest to God, the holiest.

Here are the chapters:

A Short History of Prostitution
A Comprehensive Definition of the Prostitute
Why Young Men Need Prostitutes
Why the Lonely Need Prostitutes
Why Married Men Need Prostitutes
Why the Poor Need Prostitutes
Why Old Men Need Prostitutes
Why the Sick and Deformed Need Prostitutes
Why Every Man Needs a Prostitute
The Prostitute and the "Proper" Woman
The Causes and Incentives of Prostitution
Hatred of Prostitutes
The Future of Prostitution

Posted by: sokolov on April 1, 2007 11:17 PM


Posted by: KING TRIPLESTAKS on May 2, 2007 11:14 PM

Check out this indie documentary on Asian massage parlors in RI where prostitution is legal.


Posted by: Happy Endings? on February 29, 2008 10:48 AM

I think prostitution should be legal indoors only. I do not think it should be in brothels either! I do not think any one should be able to make money off of a prostitutes body except the prostitute her self. The brothel it's self becomes an other place of oppression....with to many rules. They will wake you up in the middle of the night to service a man, take you away from your family for weeks on end. You can not leave the brothels for weeks once you get there. It is so unorthedoxed you can not go to school or live a normal life. The brothel becomes your pimp. The last thing these girls need is some one else telling them what to do and using them. I do think they should be responsible for there taxes, and keep it in doors and submit health testing...no more then every six months.....thanks for letting me post.

Posted by: Maureen mcduffy on April 10, 2008 06:34 PM

I cant think !

Posted by: jhon on February 16, 2009 10:05 AM

I'm a Rhode Island resident, and I live near several Asian Massage Parlors. I can honestly say that they're as quiet and non-threatening as any other business. The only arguments I hear, and the only noise that occasionally bothers me come from the bars. The massage parlors are good neighbors as far as I'm concerned.

To the poster who said things were great where they are until the prostitute moved in, that sounds like a problem you could have with anyone (I've had neighbors like that), it's not prostitution itself that's messing up your neighborhood, it's trashy people.

Posted by: mangeek on September 26, 2009 07:55 PM

Rhode Island made prostitution illegal in 2009.

That's despite the fact that sex workers testified that they were not forced into it and were doing it by choice.

Basically they are telling women, as long as you give it away for free that's fine.

Posted by: Peter Piper on February 8, 2010 08:18 PM

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