Nursing drivers and teenage hookers

March 2, 2009

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Child endangerment (Source: MS NBC / AP)

A woman in Ohio is in trouble for breast feeding in public. Well, to be more precise, it’s the fact that she was driving while breast feeding that seems to be the larger issue. Impressively, she was able to do this while still carrying on a conversation on her cell phone. I’m not even sure how this is physically possible. The mother’s reasoning was that her baby was hungry and she didn’t want the kid to starve.

I can’t begin to comprehend the logic that came into play. First of all, children that age are required to be in a child safety seat in the rear seat of the car. Having the child in the front seat, without using a safety device, puts the child in extreme danger in the case of a crash. The possibility of a crash was then greatly increased by the fact that the lady was distracted not only by the nursing baby, but also by the cell phone.

This lady was extremely lucky that her baby made it through this escapade in good health. The mother faces 180 days in jail and a fine of $1800. I would recommend at least some jail time – if only a few days – to drive home the point of how serious this is. I would hope that 99.9% of people would realize that you should pull over to the side of the road (or take an exit) and feed the baby only when the vehicle is at a complete stop.

A big “thank you” to the driver who called to report her to the police. You may have saved a life. You are a hero.

A high paying part time job (from Western Australia Today)

A 15 year old British girl is in trouble after a teacher discovered condoms and lubricants in her school bag. That probably wouldn’t have been such a big deal if the bag hadn’t also contained information about the agency the girl worked for.

The 15 year old girl had made around $30,000 working weekends as a prostitute over a period of two months. If you extrapolate that to a full year, she was on pace to earn $180,000 per year – and she was only working weekends. She was making $3500 a weekend.

Those numbers are just staggering. In order to make this sort of money at a legal job, you have to be a brain surgeon or a member of congress (OK, so perhaps that tests the definition of “legal”). It is easy to see why this lifestyle could be tempting, especially at an age when money seems like the solution to all problems.

What’s the solution? Harsher penalties, I suppose. Maybe a D.A.R.E. style program focusing on the negative aspects of prostitution. Unfortunately, I don’t see a silver bullet to this problem. In this particular case, a man and woman in their 40s (the girl’s parents?) were arrested on charges of inciting child prostitution but were later released. The 15 year old girl faces no charges. I’m not sure what sort of message the authorities are trying to send.

With the magnitude of money that is at stake, it seems rather likely that this girl is going to reappear in another part of the country (were she is not known to the authorities) and go back to work.

Teens girls pimping schoolmates

February 27, 2009

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1 Comment has a disturbing article about two 16 year old girls who pimped out other girls at their school (age 14 to 17). They rented an apartment for the sole purpose of setting up sexual liaisons – in essence, running a brothel.

The girls are being tried as adults – one girl faces thirteen felony counts and the other girl faces four felony counts. The grandma of one of the girls (the one facing four counts) is stunned that they are being tried as adults. Personally, I’m not surprised that they are being tried as adults. This was not some childish prank or someone unable to control their childish anger. There was a level of sophistication that you do not typically see in juvenile cases.

There are a lot of disturbing angles to this story. I’ll touch on just a few.

The girls that were recruited
These girls recruited 14 to 17 year old girls with the promise of lots of cash. They claimed that it would be a better environment for the girls, since they wouldn’t beat them up like a male pimp might.

Did any of these girls stop to think for a minute and realize that they were placing their lives in the hands of 16 year olds? Teenagers aren’t always known for having the best judgment. Who knows that sort of guys the prostitutes were being set up with. Then, of course, are the obvious dangers of STDs. Teenagers also occasionally overreact to perceived slights. What if one of the prostitutes has unknowingly insulted one of the girls – would they have intentionally put her into a dangerous situation?

These girls should have seen lots of red flags.

The customers
Granted, we’re not talking about model citizens here. And perhaps the 14 year olds really looked like they were 18. But at some point, people were finding out about this brothel by word of mouth, and this word of mouth likely originated at the high school. It’s possible that all of the customers were high school kids, but it seems likely that some older men were involved. Apparently, some of the kids who were spreading the news thought it would be a good idea to create a situation where the men would be committing statutory rape (note: the article does not mention anyone being charged with statutory rape). These men might want to reevaluate the people who are giving them advice.

The families
How did everyone overlook the warning signs that something odd was going on? At the very least, they were probably spending considerably more money than they had in the past . The one girl was staying with her grandma after leaving her mom’s house – perhaps this caused things to slip through the cracks a bit.

The school administrators
They were actively recruiting girls and the school administrators didn’t hear any gossip about this? At some point, you would think that a girl would have rebuffed their offer and reported it to the authorities.

The landlord
These girls rented an apartment to use as their brothel. How, exactly, do two 16 year olds rent an apartment? I would think that their credit history (or lack thereof) would have raised some red flags. Perhaps they paid an older friend to rent the apartment for them. In this case, that “friend” should have been curious why they wanted to rent the apartment. Did they pay with cash every month? Again, this should have raised a red flag. Complaints from neighbors about strange men coming and going at all times of the night? Red flag.

Tax issues
Taxes are probably the least of their worries right now. However, income from illegal sources is fully taxable. If they don’t claim the income on their tax return, the IRS might also take a swing at them. Additionally, there is the question of whether or not the girls they recruited were independent contractors or employees. Does the fact that a brothel was used (as opposed to having the girls find their own accommodations) tip the scales toward employee? In that case, they would have been responsible for withholding income tax and FICA.