Convicted sex traffickers would support Montpelier legalization of prostitution, critic says

Legalizing prostitution is a sex-traffickers’ dream, Michael Shively, a researcher with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, tells the Montpelier City Council last night. ORCA photo credit

By Guy Page

“The oldest profession is actually the oldest oppression,” Maggie Kerrin of Waterbury told the Montpelier City Council Wednesday night as it considered a recommendation to legalize prostitution. 

“You can’t really achieve equality between men and women while there is this gender-based oppression,” she added.

Kerrin, who lives in Waterbury but works in Montpelier, was among the people speaking out against Police Review Committee recommendations to legalize prostitution, which are part of a package of proposed policing changes presented to the Council last night. 

Legalizing prostitution is a sex-traffickers’ dream, Michael Shively, a researcher with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, told the council. 

Shively said he has spent 30 years evaluating criminal justice policies and practices. For the last two decades he has done federally-backed research on issues including legalization of prostitution. 

“What is being proposed is to legalize the most dangerous way to make money and to fully deregulate it,” Shively said. “It would allow any home, any salon….to becaome a brothel, and there is nothing you could do to stop it.”

Shively said he has interviewed 47 convicted sex traffickers and asked them if they would prefer their business to be illegal, or unregulated. 

“They would laugh and say, ‘you’re kidding, right?’” Shively said. “100% of convicted sex traffickers would prefer to operate in an environment in which there were no prohibitions against prostitution.”

Seth Collins of Berlin also spoke out against legalizing prostitution because where there’s prostitution, there’s other injustices against women. “In my opinion, prostitution is a warning sign that there is some predatory dynamic.” There were no other comments about the legalized prostitution part of the police study by members of the general public.

The committee is not advocating for decriminalization, Police Advisory Committee member Justin Drechsler said. State laws will still apply. (However, the advisory commission does recommend adopting proposed state legislation that advocate for making most prostitution legal.)

The city ordinance is old and sexist, Drechsler said. “In no way is the committee suggesting that human trafficking should be legalized,” he said.

Another committee member said ‘sex work’ is not necessarily as dangerous as suggested, and that legalization has benefits. 

The council agreed to accept the policing report and discuss its recommendations at future meetings. 

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Categories: Legislation

9 replies »

  1. Here’s the one thing to try to realize as you “lawmakers” wrangle with this issue: Prostitution IS human trafficking ———- you empty-headed misogynist radicals!!!!!!!!

    And in NO manner is criminalizing prostitution “racist”!!!!!! But claiming it is, is what is racist, fools!

    Stop the endless manipulative, pandering, twisted misinformation you all spout.

    The fact that you are even CONSIDERING this and have WASTED more Vermonters’ tax dollars on even exploring this highly dangerous, (and PROVEN dangerous by DOJ stats) sexist, misogynistic, oppressive, drug-filled, opportunistic, violent “trade” tells us all what we need to know of your primary agenda to essentially reinvent the U.S.A.’s long-established culture, society, and method of governance.

    I normally never speak this way, and this shall be a first: Each of you ignorant dolts who have seriously considered this SUCK!

  2. Makes you wonder how much prostitution is necessary in Montpelier?

    I wonder what’s different about Montpelier than any other town in Vermont?

    That’s right more politicians per capita!!

  3. I love the radical who is quoted ….”it’s not necessarily as dangerous as suggested”. WOW, an Einstein……let’s bring MORE amoral, SOMETIMES dangerous activities into the state. Let’s have a leaf-peeping & amoral degenerate week in Vermont.

    Seriously…..YOU people have NO shame.

  4. Have you all lost your minds. No wonder our state, country and world is getting so evil. The devil sure is having fun making all these people look so stupid

  5. Are all you so called smart people losing your minds. No wonder we are in such a mess.

  6. will the prositutes be required to wear a mask while hanging around the state capitol waiting for the next john? what a bunch of idiots to even think about this!!!!

  7. Sex drugs and rock and roll. No longer free love from the 60’s. Turn it into a business and tax it. Marijuana is in the process of becoming legal and taxed. Sez trade fits right in.

  8. What about the Nordic Model decriminalize the sex trafficked victims and criminalize the traffickers as it should have been all along.