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by: Annemarie Beran and Allison Cooley
1st Period
31 arrested in Richmond
prostitution stings
 Chris I. Young – Richmond Times Dispatch, April 21, 2010
 Putting aside morals and sexual issues, are there
social and economic reasons for prostitution in
Richmond, Virginia?
 Any person who, for money or its equivalent, commits
adultery, fornication or any act in violation of § 18.2-361, or
offers to commit adultery, fornication or any act in
violation of § 18.2-361 and thereafter does any substantial
act in furtherance thereof, shall be guilty of being a
prostitute, or prostitution, which shall be punishable as a
Class 1 misdemeanor.
 Any person who offers money or its equivalent to another
for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts as enumerated
above and thereafter does any substantial act in
furtherance thereof shall be guilty of solicitation of
 The average female prostitute enters her job when she is
only 16 or 17 years of age.
58% of American prostitutes reported violent assault at the
hands of clients.
92% of women engaged in prostitution said they wanted to
leave prostitution, but couldn't because they lack basic
human services such as a home, job training, health care,
counseling and treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.
16.9 is the average age female Americans that enter into the
business of prostitution.
Approximately 50% of prostitutes have contracted the HIV
 In Chesterfield, Virginia, the focus is usually on the
Johns who solicit sex rather than the prostitutes who
provide the sexual acts.
 While in Richmond, Virginia, they often target the
 Because of jail overcrowding, many prostitutes and
Johns receive $100 fines and 30-day suspended jail
sentences in result of the Class 1 misdemeanor.
 Assistant Clinical Professor and the Director of the
Delinquency Clinic at the University of Richmond Law
School - Currently
Supervising Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney in
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court
Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, Richmond,
Va. - (2006-2011)
Assistant Public Defender
Richmond Public Defender's Office, Richmond, Va.- (20002005)
J.D., University of Richmond School of Law 1999 (cum
B.A., Agnes Scott Women's College 1988
 Given her educational and professional background,
Professor McConnell possesses diverse perspectives
and experiences from prosecution, defense and
counseling of individuals involved in and/or impacted
by prostitution.
 Question: In your opinion, what is the cause of the rise
of prostitution in the Richmond area?
 Answer: There are multiple issues that contribute to
this problem. Poverty, the economic downturn, drug
addiction, homelessness and a lack of safe, affordable
housing. As a Public Defender, I represented many
women who supported either their own or a
boyfriend's addiction to crack cocaine with
prostitution. It becomes a vicious cycle. They can't
stop using, they don't have money for the drugs, so
they trade sex for the drugs.
 Answer continued: I also think sex-trafficking is a factor.
Young girls and women are sometimes forced into
prostitution by unscrupulous people who take advantage of
their desire to find a better life in the United States. They
are also sometimes brought here against their will and then
drugged to the point that they become addicted and then
cannot leave because of their need for the drugs. My sense
is that is a very hidden problem, but there nonetheless. I
believe that there are places in the Hispanic community
where it goes on in secret and those cases rarely, if ever,
result in police involvement. The women and girls are
scared to come forward because they don't trust the police
and the Johns certainly aren't telling.
 Question: Is there a typical profile of prostitutes in the
Richmond area? If so, what is that profile?
 Answer: It has been awhile, but my sense is poor,
crack-addicted and often young women are the most
common. There are some male prostitutes. They are
often either in a relationship with the John or some
other person who is profiting off of their prostitution.
They sometimes have children.
 Question: Have you ever counseled or advised a
 Answer: Yes, many times.
 Question: Have you ever talked to a prostitute about
why they are involved in the illegal activity? If so, what
are the primary reasons for her involvement in this
illegal industry?
 Answer: Yes, and they usually say it is because they
would be homeless otherwise and because they are
addicted to drugs. They also cite a lack of education
and/or marketable skills.
 Question: Do prostitutes ever talk about their family?
What aspects of their personal lives have prostitutes
shared with you?
 Answer: Very little. They sometimes ask the Court to
consider not giving them active jail time because there
is no one else to take care of their kids.
 Question: What, if anything, do you think could be done to
reduce the demand for prostitutes in the Richmond area?
 Answer: A big problem in Richmond is that people from
the Counties come into the City for prostitutes. It is not
difficult to find out where to find a prostitute. You can do
it online. There are areas in town where you can always
find them, just like drugs. It might help to break up these
locations, but they would likely just move to a new one. I
think finding another way to address the drug problem
would help. Most prostitutes are slaves to drug addiction
in one way or another, so that is where I would start.
 75 to 95% of all prostitutes were sexually abused as
children, are high school dropouts, come from poor
and abusive homes, move from place to place, and are
alcoholics or drug addicts.
 Women involved in prostitution have been arrested on
average of 2.26 times.
 40% of street prostitutes are women of color.
 We tried to incorporate the knowledgeable IB learner profile by explore a
sometimes controversial issue that has a local and national significance. In do
so we tried to acquire an in-depth knowledge about the topic. By exploring
social and economic aspects of prostitution in Richmond, Virginia we obtained
a better understanding of the real dilemma. While we all may giggle at the
mention of sex, prostitution is not a laughing matter. Motivations are not
always sexual or ugly. In certain instances, it is merely greed resulting in the
selling of one’s self in a sexual manner. However, more often than not, it is a
means to address another issue/problem such as poverty due to the economic
down turn or drug addictions. While laws regulating prostitution are
necessary to protect society, they are not the sole answer to solving the
problem. As residents of Virginia and citizen of the United States, we all must
also focus on the underlying reasons for prostitution and try to make a
difference through things such as compassion and community service.
 DePompa, Rachel. "Prostitution Stings Bring 31 Arrests
in Richmond - NBC12 News, Weather Sports,
Traffic, and Programming Guide for Richmond, VA."
NBC12 News, Weather Sports, Traffic, and
Programming Guide for Richmond, VA | - Home. A
Raycom Media Station, 31 Aug. 2009. Web. 23 Nov.
 Dutton, Nick. "Crackdown Leads to Solicitation,
Prostitution Arrests in Henrico - Wtvr." CBS 6 News
WTVR, Richmond News, Weather, Sports,
Breaking News | | Richmond News | CBS
6 WTVR TV - Wtvr. WTVR, 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 23
Nov. 2011.
 Martz, Michael. "Targeting of Johns or Prostitutes
Varies among Jurisdictions | Richmond TimesDispatch." Richmond, VA - News, Classifieds,
Business News, Civil War, Virginia Politics,
Opinion, Sports, Flying Squirrels Baseball,
Entertainment, Obituaries and Weather | Richmond
Times-Dispatch. 22 June 2009. Web. 23 Nov. 2011.
 McConnell, Julie. "Be In Touch Interview Project." E-mail
interview. 1 Dec. 2011.
 "Prostitution Statistics." Sex Crime –Guide to Sex
Crime Laws., 2011. Web. 23 Nov. 2011.
 Young, Chris I. "31 Arrested in Richmond Prostitution
Stings | Richmond Times-Dispatch." Richmond,
VA - News, Classifieds, Business News, Civil War,
Virginia Politics, Opinion, Sports, Flying
Squirrels Baseball, Entertainment, Obituaries and
Weather | Richmond Times-Dispatch. 21 Apr.
2010. Web. 23 Nov. 2011.