Friday, November 16, 2018
NYTimes story discusses trafficking by shady landlords but doesn't mention FOSTA, which could be used to prosecute them
Alan Feuer, Ashley Southalt, and Ali Winston offer a detailed story on p. A23 of the New York Times Thursday, November 13, 2018, “Landlords’ key role in the new brothels”.
The online title is more telling: “The new brothels:how shady landlords play a key role in the sex trade”.
One of the operations was discovered by a musician living in one of the buildings.
Landlords, paid by the city to house the homeless but without much incentive to keep buildings up, often knowingly house prostitution operations.
This was also common in the 1970s (when I lived in NYC) but toned down during Giuliani’s law and order.
It has gotten “worse” as gentrification drives the sex trade indoors.
In one case, a man was kidnapped so that his wife could be taken into sex trade.
What I thought was odd about the story is that it did not mention the recent FOSTA ("Backpage") law, which has been controversial because it can potentially undermine all user generated content online. Maybe the buildings aren’t online, but if they were, federal prosecutors would have new ways to get at them. Put another way, the story shows that FOSTA is not likely to add to a deterrence to sex trafficking. The prosecutors had plenty of tools for the online portions of these crimes even before FOSTA.
Some properties with sex trade exist in counties to the north, also, according to the story.