Wednesday, February 28, 2007

People v. Mays (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 28, 2007)

Here I was, sitting at my office, and I thought to myself: "Sure, Shaun, you know a lot of stuff. But, when you think about it, you're really quite ignorant about the differences between street prostitutes and prostitutes who work through escort services. That's a huge, gaping, hole in your knowledge base. Don't you feel like an idiot? Heck, I bet you don't even know what escort services charge, much less what they do for their money or what percentage of their customers have sex with the prostitutes. You moron!"

And then, voila, I read this case. Problem solved.

Let me share my new-found knowledge with you, my loyal readers. By telling you about "Exotic Secrets," which was an escort service down here in San Diego. And -- given the name -- I know that the following information will shock you. But, yes, "Exotic Secrets" was one of those "escort" services that, wouldn't you know it, often provided sex to its clients.

Here are the additional, juicy, details regarding street hookers versus hookers you find in the Yellow Pages:

"Mayo ran an escort service, Exotic Secrets. The escort service charged $150 to $300 for a one-hour 'private dance.' Six or seven out of every 10 customers requested sexual services. [Ed: That's all?! I'd have guessed at least 90%.] The fees for the sexual services ranged from $50 to $1,500 [!], depending on the services provided. The core group of women gave all their earnings to Mayo, including fees from sexual services, and he paid for all their living expenses, including rent, food, and cell phones used in the escort/prostitution business. Mayo provided a house for the women on Ewing Drive.

A San Diego police detective testified about the typical differences between street and escort prostitution. Street prostitutes usually have a pimp who provides the prostitutes with a hotel room and sometimes food and money for condoms, and in return the prostitutes give the pimp all the money they earn. In contrast, a person running an escort business typically builds a wall between himself and his escort prostitutes to make it appear they are independently engaging in prostitution. Escort prostitutes generally charge more money for sexual acts and less frequently have a pimp.

Typically, street prostitutes recruit other prostitutes for their pimp; this does not typically occur in escort prostitution. The women working for Mayo recruited other escort prostitutes. Escort prostitutes infrequently have sex with the person running the business, while street prostitutes often have sex with their pimps. Mayo regularly had sex with the women who worked for him. While street prostitutes have tattoos reflecting their pimp, this is not usually seen with escort prostitutes. Several of Mayo's escort prostitutes had tattoos of the logo for Mayo's business, Supreme Entertainment, on their lower backs and one woman was told if she stayed long enough and proved she was 'down' enough, she could earn a tattoo like the other women."

Another knowledge gap filled. Thank you, Justice McConnell.