Unlicensed rubbing not prostitution
Police in Hallandale Beach, Florida have arrested two masseuses on charges of engaging in prostitution and deriving support from proceeds of prostitution at the Golden Massage and Spa. Undercover detectives posing as customers investigated reports of prostitution and unlicensed practice of healthcare at the massage parlor, police say.
The detectives paid a total of $160 for a one-hour massage each. One masseuse allegedly rubbed her customer’s testicles and tried to arouse him sexually. After her arrest, police say, their investigation discovered that her healthcare license had been suspended for the past year.
A licensure suspension charge may be straightforward as a matter of proof, but the evidence of prostitution appears to be far from convincingly clear on the facts the police report. For one thing, merely rubbing a massage parlor customer’s testicles does not appear to prove prostitution, “the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire.” * Rubbing is what a masseuse does, isn’t it? If she did indeed rub the undercover officer’s testicles, must she necessarily have tried to arouse him sexually, as he alleged? He certainly may have thought she had that intent, but does his mere thought without more evidence of her intent prove it? For a prosecutor, that argument seems to be a tough row to hoe.
For another thing, the “for hire” element of the offense looks likely to remain unproven under the legal presumption of innocence. “Hire,” of course, implies payment of money in return for service, but the only payment the police report is the customer’s $80 for his one-hour massage, and there is no evidence that there was any arrangement or understanding that he should pay for anything else. Without such proof it is hard to imagine how the charge of prostitution can stand, and, if the prosecutor fails to prove prostitution, the associated charge of deriving support from proceeds of prostitution must go down with it.
As is apparent from this case, what may seem quite clear to arresting officers or to anyone predisposed to infer guilt may be to fair-minded people fully consistent with innocence. For this and many other reasons, anybody arrested or charged with prostitution or solicitation for should contact a skilled, experienced criminal defense attorney like Ken Hassett at Hassett & Associates, PA for an immediate, free consultation on how best to proceed for the best result from the case. Ken has practiced as a Fort Lauderdale prostitution defense attorney since 1991 and is known and respected by state attorneys and judges in Miami Dade County, Fort Lauderdale, and Broward County.