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Saturday, October 10, 2015

SOUTHERN NEVADA SEX TRAFFICKING TASK FORCE MEETING FOR OCTOBER 30, 2015

Dear Task Force:

I understand you're under new leadership now.  In case you're not aware of who I am, first of all, I'm the founder of the modern day sex trafficking movement itself.  You can verify this with news clippings I have at www.hightechmadam.com dated back to the 1980's.  The "brothel" I was supposedly arrested for in 1984 "two blocks from the police station" was actually the first "safe house" for adults to hide because - well - there was no place else for adults to go for safety once rescued back then.  Setting out to change that fact in 1987 - I created the first hotline and program for adults on an international basis with the opening of our 12 step program originally called "Prostitutes Anonymous".

In 1988, Joe Conforte, the owner of the Mustang Ranch then, wanted to expand the brothels into California and Las Vegas.  Setting upon his media campaign to convince the voters - I did a lot of TV interviews and public appearances with him that year.  Back in the 1980's, the FCC hadn't passed the Telecommunications Act of 1995 yet.  Meaning to appear on TV about an issue before the voters one used to be required to have an "opposing viewpoint".  So for Joe to appear on TV - I was the only one who would go up "opposing" him.  At the end of that year - there were no brothels in either California or Las Vegas so we won.

During the filming of a Sally Jesse Raphael show, I went up against Joe and four women from the ranch.  After an hour of being bashed about how "wonderful" conditions were there - one of the women ran up to me in the hallway begging me to "get her out of there".  She claimed she had been drugged, then forced at gunpoint onto a charter plane where she had been forced and threatened into doing that show.  Claiming it was all lies, and that women were "disappearing" up at the ranch - she asked me to get her out of there in fear for her life.  I was working with a program in Chicago (where this was filmed) at the time, so we literally faked an ambulance call to get her out of the studio and into that program.  She's still out of sex work today.

Once word spread we helped this woman - I kept getting calls to help women who wanted out of the legal brothels.  As you know - there are no cabs nor buses that go up to these legal brothels and they are miles and hours from a major city.  With the curfews and other restrictions - one can't even walk out of there on foot and hitchhike out of the brothels.  With the legal age to get a license being as young as 16 years old - many don't even have a drivers license.  The calls kept coming in for help so heavy that in 1996 I moved to Nevada where I could physically go and pick these women up when they'd call.  That and I was helping Sharnel Silvey to set up the first "alternative sentencing' program in northern Nevada.  Sharnel used to be a madam at the Mustang Ranch.

I'm the co-author of the "Trafficking in Nevada - Making the Connections" report where we gave the international press conference for what these women we would help leave sex work in Nevada were reporting to us as going on with respect to sex trafficking.  Both John Quinones and Bob Herbert have come to Las Vegas to validate my claims, interviews our members, and see for themselves what we do in Sex Workers Anonymous.  They both wrote glowing reports about us also - with Bob Herbert receiving a threat from ex-mayor Goodman for this validation actually because it screwed up his plans for "magnificent brothels" to be built where the Mob Museum now stands.

When I heard your task force was first forming - I tried to reach out then to make contact to be involved.  I was told I'd be contacted "once a director was chosen" which never happened.  I understand you have a new director now - and therefore I'd like to reach out again.  I've tried reporting trafficking I've been made aware of in Nevada to your task force in the past many times actually - only no one has ever gotten back to me to ask for details.  Clearly that should change.  Especially since as far as I'm aware we're the only program that offers what we offer all across Nevada to men, women and transgenders in any part of the sex industry of any religion, or lack of religion.

In fact, I understand you're having a meeting coming up on October 30th that's "by invitation only".  Meaning  I can't just drop by - so I'm dropping a line to see if I might be invited.  I've tried many times in the past to build relationships with various law enforcement offices in Nevada to try and increase the prosecutions of traffickers that our members make me aware of - to also no response also.  I'd like to see that change.

I had tried to reach out to Congo Justice in 2013 when I first heard about them in Nevada to no avail. I imagine it was because we opposed AB67 and they did not.  Shame I couldn't get them, or anyone actually, to go in with Aubrey on February 20, 2013, when she testified alone to the Nevada legislature against the brothel expansion into Las Vegas at an unscheduled hearing that hadn't been listed where the Brothel Association Lobbyist was asking the Legislature for permission to expand the brothels into Las Vegas where I understand the Mob Museum went up once they said "no" after hearing her testimony about her experiences working in a legal brothel starting when her pimp forced her to work at the Shady Lady when she was only 16 years old.   You can hear her story in fact at www.leavingtheliferadio.com of this time in her life.   She gave Congo Justice a copy of a letter written by Nevada survivors on what "we'd" like to see done to change things to help end trafficking in Nevada - only no one ever got back to us about getting involved with making any of those changes happen.

Things like requiring those taking out brothel licenses to undergo an orientation to be aware of what trafficking is, as well as who to call for help if they realize they are being trafficked.   Aubrey, and many of the women coming out of the brothels, have reported they didn't even understand they were being "trafficked" because of not understanding the terminology used.  To them - they were just "prostitutes" not "victims" so they weren't understanding any of that related to them.

They also weren't made clear that despite working at a legal brothel - they could still charge their pimp for trafficking them if he was making them do it against their will.   We'll still not seen anyone discuss any of our ideas from women who have been trafficked in NEVADA (not other countries), presented to the legislature that day like those.  So most of these women aren't aware they can even get help from trafficking services in other words even though they're working at a "legal" establishment.

Many of the prostitutes working in illegal forms of prostitution also don't appreciate being arrested by Metro - and then told that "if they go to work at the legal brothels" then they'll "not get arrested again" as a form of "trafficking outreach" as they've been reporting has been happening to them the last couple of years.  Nor do they appreciate much being exploited by churches raising money that they never see in the way of any services.  Other victims report that they're being put into "recovery homes" where they're being put out on the streets to do fund raising and told they have "quotas" not much different than their pimps did to them.  So many calling our hotline in Nevada are not happy with the kind of help they're NOT receiving in Nevada.  I know I'm not happy when I'm trying to help them - and I can't get anyone to answer my phone calls.  Maybe with new leadership - maybe this all can change now.

I'd like to see the same type of cooperation and partnership with every office in Nevada that I enjoy with other states in fact so that these victims of trafficking can receive the best help possible - and that anyone wanting help to leave sex work can also receive help and support to do so also so I'm reaching out to you again with this post.  Thank you for your time.

I can be reached at www.sexworkersanonymous.com



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