June 25, 2009

Michelle Braun and her plea bargain

The latest of the Hollywood madams has just offered/accepted a plea bargain for the heinous crime of matching up willing buyers and willing sellers of the same product. It’s not going to make much difference to how much sex gets bought and sold of course, there’ll be someone along in a moment to fill the niche, just as Michelle Braun herself filled the one left by Heidi Fleiss.

But beyond my headscratching at the law being so down on a simple free market there are two more points that puzzle me:

FBI agents conducted a two year undercover operation to trap Miss Braun, who apparently filled in the void left for high class call girls after the arrest and jailing of the Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss in 1997.

Seriously? The country is fighting two hot wars and at least claims to be fighting two others as well, the War on Drugs and the War on Terror. And someone, somewhere, seriously thought that limited Federal law enforcement resources would be best deployed to capture the female version of a pimp? Forgive me if I consider this bizzare: even the authorities admit she was paying her taxes on time.

But what really gets me is this, that at least some of the girls she was finding work for were porn stars. So I’m not even sure what crime was being committed. Is it really true that someone can be paid to have sex in front of a camera but it’s illegal if there is no camera? For most certainly such “actresses” have agents who arrange their roles, they travel to them, but no one goes around arresting them, do they? In fact, didn’t the Supreme Court rule that it was protected free speech?

No, I understand all of those who are repulsed by prostitution, by the whole sex industry, those who regard them all as repugnant transactions. But can it really be true that if only a film crew had accompanied these women as they kept their assignations, then there’s no offence committed? Is the law really that much of an ass?


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