January 20, 2017 (Fault Lines) — A new prostitution bust in Dunwoody, Georgia has resulted not just in the arrest of the owners of an escort company, but also in the arrest of a local prosecutor. It seems like a pretty big deal overall:
Dunwoody Police say a months-long investigation into an escort service has netted nearly 60 arrests.
There’s something awfully silly about the idea of police taking months to figure out that an escort service was a front for prostitution. The notion that escort services are anything else is largely just a useful fiction, something that lets the busybodies among us sleep a little better knowing prostitution is still illegal and that men with money can’t have sex with women who would like that money.
Few people who’ve ever given escort agencies much thought or actually dealt with one will believe for even one second that affluent single men are using them to find charming dates to take to black tie affairs. Even when they aren’t just acting as very thinly disguised prostitution agencies, the dates involve hanging out in hotel rooms or homes.
The idea, which everyone for the most part pretends to be the case, is generally that the customer just pays for the escort’s time. Maybe they go out for a romantic dinner then see an opera. Maybe they sit in front of a cozy fire discussing philosophy. Or maybe the escort is so quickly and overpoweringly won over by the customer’s great personality and stunning good looks that the two just end up having sex shortly after meeting up at the guy’s affordable motel room. Without a police chaperone on every date, it’s impossible for them to say exactly what happened. You can’t outlaw people paying other people to hang out. The result is what we have now: prostitution in plain view, but we pretend it’s something different.
Authorities in Dunwoody have apparently just figured out what’s going on, at least in this instance:
“There’s no dispute this is a criminal enterprise for commercial sex and it was operating here in Dunwoody,” said Dunwoody Police Chief Billy Grogan.
Grogan said an anonymous tip led them to investigate “Gold Club Escorts” and “Lipstick and Shoes,” and led to the arrest of its accused owners, Sam and Darliene Crenshaw and an associate, George Moore.
It would be interesting to know who made the anonymous tip. Was it a disgruntled former escort who thought management took too much off the top? Someone who applied for a job there not realizing what sort of business it really was and became horrified when the first guy tried to negotiate a rate for sex? Maybe some poor soul, the most lonely, naive man on earth, hired an escort and was offended by her attempts to have sex with him. That seems exceedingly unlikely. It might’ve been a guy who thought the price an escort offered was too high, though. Or it could’ve been a nosy neighbor who didn’t like it that the building next door was a little too busy.
What’s notable is that there doesn’t seem to be an element of coercion to this. There’s no mention of human trafficking. It seems the escorts weren’t sex slaves. They weren’t beaten or held hostage.
Regardless, authorities can’t help but make it seem like they stopped something evil:
“It damages families,” he said of the prostitution. “I’m sure the families in this particular case have been damaged, their children, their wives.”
The kids and wives will be damaged, but it’s by the arrest as much as by the conduct that led to the arrest. The sort of desire and/or dissatisfaction that would cause a married man to go through with getting an escort isn’t going to disappear just because one little agency went out of business. A would-be John isn’t going to suddenly say, “wait, Gold Club Escorts and Lipstick and Shoes aren’t around anymore? Screw it, I’m gonna make this marriage work.”
Most married customers will probably just call a different escort business. Some might decide to take the old fashioned route and start a messy extramarital affair that isn’t just a business transaction. Straying men damage their families, and that’s the case whether there’s an escort involved or not. What busting a bunch of johns does is ensure their families and maybe the public know about it. It doesn’t repair the marriage or fix the problems that led to infidelity. It basically just humiliates everyone.
Authorities, sadly, think they’re going to stop prostitution completely:
DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston said the arrests should send a strong message.
“These crimes will not be tolerated in DeKalb County,” she said. “Both supply and demand must be eradicated if we are to stop this problem.”
It’s fascinating that Boston could be stupid enough to think that the arrests should send a strong message. A prosecutor was among those arrested, after all. He knows that people get arrested. He knows they get charged, and he knows the punishments they get. He was intimately familiar with the consequences, and he did it anyway. He had everything to lose. He had more knowledge that should’ve been a deterrent than all the escort service busts in the world could ever communicate to the general public. He still did it.
Doubling down on the stupid, Boston’s claim that both “[b]oth supply and demand must be eradicated if we are to stop this problem” is amazing. Does she have some sort of plan to give to all women who need money fabulous jobs that pay exactly the amount they need? Does she intend to castrate all of the men in the jurisdiction? And any women who might enjoy doing the work?
This seems like it was a larger-than-normal bust, and maybe the people arrested broke the law. Regardless, it still seems like a waste of time. Nothing is going to stop supply or demand for sex. If this big, professional operation isn’t around any longer, something else is going to pop up in its place. Maybe it’s the same sort of thing. Maybe it’s sketchy. Hell, maybe underground sex slaves will fill the void.
It’s unclear what new ways consenting adults will find to have sex in Gwinnett County, Georgia. What is certain, however, is that the Dunwoody Police will never stop the problem, no matter how hard they try.