An unidentified man was robbed and sustained physical injuries in Upper Saucon Township following an altercation with a woman he allegedly paid for sex and her male accomplice. Several news outlets have reported that the unidentified man arranged to meet the prostituted woman at motel where they allegedly engaged in commercial sex. Because the motel did not have an ATM machine, the unidentified man attempted to pay the woman via an online payment method. Problems with that transaction prompted the woman’s male friend to get involved. The pair allegedly proceeded to assault the unidentified man, leaving with his wallet, iPhone, and vehicle.
Court records show the prostituted woman and her male friend share an address in Allentown. While the woman has not been charged with prostitution, they are both being charged with felony counts of conspiracy, robbery, theft, and receiving stolen property.
Prostitution is often mistakenly referred to as a “victim-less crime”. When the media reports on the arrests of prostituted persons as part of an alleged “human trafficking investigation”, their names and photographs are splashed across internet and television news outlets, alike. The trauma they have almost certainly experienced while engaging in sexual contact with multiple men per day or the violence they have likely endured at the hands of violent sex buyers is rarely, if ever, considered.
Yet, when an incident occurs where a sex buyer sustains physical injuries at the alleged hands of a prostituted person and what may be her pimp, his name is not made public out of respect for his status as a victim. Further, buying sex is a crime in Pennsylvania, but the unidentified man was not deterred from calling police for help and there are no reports that he has been charged with any offense.
In sharp contrast, persons who sell sex live in constant fear of arrest that prevents them from reporting acts of violence that are perpetrated against them. Unfortunately, their fears are confirmed by statistics. Last year in Lehigh County there was only a single charge for buying sex reported by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts. There were 17 reported charges for selling sex. This is not just a policing problem in Lehigh County, last year in Pennsylvania there were 678 charges for selling sex and only 181 for buying.
The CSE Institute is truly sorry this unidentified man was allegedly attacked and robbed. No one should ever have to experience violence. However, we cannot forget that there are prostituted persons beaten, raped, and murdered every day. Instances of sex buyers sustaining injuries are few and far between, but the lives of prostituted persons are put into peril each time they enter a motel room with an unidentified man.
All viewed expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.