29 Law & Ineq. 451 (2011)
Would a Cop Do This: Ending the Practice of Sexual Sampling in Prostitution Stings

handle is hein.journals/lieq29 and id is 455 raw text is: 451

Would a Cop Do This?: Ending the
Practice of Sexual Sampling in
Prostitution Stings
Phillip Walterst
Introduction
Imagine a society that criminally punished women who for
hire or without hire offer their bodies to indiscriminate intercourse
with men.' Constitutional issues aside, one concern that immedi-
ately arises is how to enforce such a law. If these wicked women
and the men (victims?) who liaise with them were sufficiently wily
to hide their activities from prying eyes, and if the political will to
eradicate this behavior existed, undercover sting operations might
be the most viable solution. Of course, to put this scheme into ac-
tion, the government would have to find police officers, or civilian
agents, with enough civic pride to be willing to accept the indis-
criminate offer of a woman's body for sexual intercourse. Assum-
ing the availability of such men, how much accepting would they
have to do to prove the government's case?
Alternatively, imagine a society with a narrower definition of
prostitution, one which requires engaging or offering or agreeing
to engage for hire in sexual penetration or sexual contact.' Fur-
thermore, it might even punish clients of those engaged in prosti-
t. J.D. expected 2012, University of Minnesota Law School.
1. United States v. Bitty, 208 U.S. 393, 401 (1908). The Court, per Justice
Harlan, continues:
The lives and example of such persons are in hostility to the idea of the
family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man
and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all
that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that
reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social
and political improvement.
Id. (quoting Murphy v. Ramsey, 114 U.S. 15, 45 (1885)). Such a definition of
prostitution, while seemingly archaic and unacceptable to a contemporary
audience, is not confined to the distant past. For example, in 1979 the Supreme
Court of Alaska struck down a statute defining prostitution as the giving or
receiving of the body by a female for sexual intercourse for hire under the state
constitution's equal protection clause. Plas v. State, 598 P.2d 966, 967 (Alaska
1979). While gender neutral, North Carolina's statutory definition of prostitution
still includes offering or receiving of the body for indiscriminate sexual intercourse
without hire. N.C. GEN. STAT. § 14-203 (2010).
2. MINN. STAT. § 609.321(9) (2010).

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