Conflicted Opinions on Man Charged With Rape of a Prostitute

rape, prostitution, Illinois Criminal Defense AttorneyThe recent arrest of a Chicago man on charges that he sexually assaulted a prostitute has created a firestorm of controversy over what constitutes rape and the perceived rights of sex workers. The matter is beginning receive a measure of national attention, as The Huffington Post picked up the story earlier this week.

The Criminal Charges

According to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, a 29-year-old man solicited the services of prostitute he found on a website, agreeing to pay $180 for sex. When the prostitute arrived at his Austin neighborhood home, authorities say, the man raped her at gunpoint. The woman subsequently called the police and was examined at West Suburban Hospital. The man was arrested after being identified by the victim and he admitted to what he had done. He is charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault and is currently being held on $750,000 bail.

The Media Controversy

Following the man’s arrest, a Chicago Sun-Times columnist wrote an opinion piece regarding the allegations, expressing that she found it difficult to see the prostitute as a victim. She contended that by treating the case a sexual assault, “when it’s actually more like a theft of services—it minimizes the act of rape.” The columnists opinion is based on the idea that the prostitute agreed to exchange sex for money, putting herself at extreme risk, and obscuring the line regarding actual consent. While wrong, the prostitute, she concluded, should not be considered the same level of victim as one who raped in a home invasion a few weeks ago.

Not surprisingly, the woman’s column was not well-received by many in the area and around the country, including victim advocacy groups and rape prevention organizations. They are applauding Chicago police for the seriousness with which the alleged crime is being treated, regardless of the woman’s involvement with prostitution. “Sex without consent, regardless of what the victim was wearing or does for a living, is rape,” according to a Chicago attorney who’s response column also appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times. Those who work in the sex industry should not be less protected, she continued, simply because they do not incite a great deal of public sympathy. Other writers nationwide have echoed similar sentiments, and more attention is likely in days to come.

If you have been charged with sexual assault or the solicitation of prostitution, it is important to seek qualified legal counsel immediately. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney today at the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney. We will examine the facts of your case, and help you understand your options under the law. Call 312-270-0999 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/crime/19346847-story

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sun-times-mary-mitchell-rape-sex-worker_55f6bb73e4b042295e36b959

http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/949197/austin-man-rape-prostitute-backpage

http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/7/71/961374/opinion-sex-without-consent-always-rape

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