Mixtapes for Hookers

So… Very… Angry…
May 6, 2009, 11:56 am
Filed under: hookers | Tags: , ,

I’m completely at a loss right now.

More prostitution news on the Rhode Island front, and this one’s not good:

A Massachusetts attorney living in Rhode Island was held at knifepoint and robbed while on an escorting job in Providence.  She went to the police, and it turns out the guy’s got an arrest list that goes back two decades.  End of story, right?

Not quite.  Yesterday the Providence Journal printed a story detailing not only the robbery, but also the name of the woman.  It also gave her entire educational background (undergrad, grad and law school.)  It didn’t print her address, but a quick Google search turned up an address, two phone numbers and a map to her house.

The woman has now recanted her charges, because her request not to be named was ignored and now she’s worried about the future of her legal career.  The man even get to go free now (Obviously it’s way too early to tell, though thankfully Providence Police say that they’re continuing to investigate anyway.)

I just read the seventy-plus comments at the Providence Journal blog and once the all the shaking-with-rage subsided I wrote a letter to the article’s author and the Journal expressing my dismay at their nonchalance about possibly ruining this woman’s career.  (The victim is a member of the Massachusetts bar and waiting to hear back Rhode Island after taking the bar exam here in February.)

Here’s what I wrote (which could have used some paragraph editing, I see now):

I’m writing in response to your article about the robbery of [redacted].  While I understand that the Journal traditonally prints the names and ages of crime victims, I think that in this particular situation more discretion should have been exercised.  This woman’s entire career is now in jeopardy because of this article.  Regardless of the legality of escorting, it is inconceivable to me that a reporter would knowingly choose to endanger the future of a crime victim in one short article.  (This is in addition to all the other sex workers who will now be afraid to go to police if they are attacked.)  Women held at knifepoint are victims.  They should be treated sympathetically, even in a hard news story.

And here’s the response, which came back within fifteen minutes:

Thank you for writing. The Journal does publish the names of crime victims, except in rape cases. We don’t make exceptions for people’s professions. We have published the names of prostitutes and exotic dancers in several cases, including the Sportsman’s Inn shooting not long ago.

Plenty of people get caught in embarrassing situations that they’d rather weren’t published. We’re not in the business of covering up for anyone.

Lawyers are also bound to uphold certain ethical and moral standards. The public has a right to know that those standards are being followed. If [redacted]’s future legal career is in jeopardy, it’s because of her own actions, not a newspaper article.

Amanda Milkovits

I can’t decide whether I’m more dismayed by the author’s choice of the words “embarrassing situation” to describe a robbery at knifepoint, or whether it’s her tone in the paragraph about ethical and moral standards.  Or possibly her lack of differentiation between an attack in a private home and a shooting in a public place (the Sportsman’s Inn is a strip club, and some crazy went in last month and shot the place up.)

[thanks to Audacia Ray for linking to the article. I’m not much of a ProJo reader.]

1 Comment so far
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That guy will end up walking, and Amanda will have his next victim’s blood on her hands. Apparently, she skipped the ethics classes in the pursuit of her journalism degree. What a sorry excuse for a human being (as well as the asshole editors who allowed her to publish it).

Comment by alexad

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