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Sarah Hansen
Dr. Schroeter
English 1010 2nd Black
7 January 2016
Prostitution in Utah
We have all seen it in the news at some point of our lives. We hear about a group of
women being arrested for attempting to sell their bodies for prostitution. Or perhaps a secret
prostitution ring thats been going on for a while a few towns over. Then there are those
emotional cases of a young teenager sharing their experience in the prostitution field. It is news
we hear, and the story either affects us a lot, or the story entertains us for a little while. This is a
situation that is affecting Utah. Children at a young age are being introduced to prostitution and
are aware of what it is, more and more people are sustaining and giving into this act. Even if
prostitution is labeled as an illegal act, it still happens constantly throughout our state. It may
seem like it is a minor thing we deal with, but in fact, it is something that affects us a lot. We turn
our attention to other problems in Utah but perhaps its time to turn around and face this problem
as well.
Jami Balls and Hal Schindler, historic writers for Utah, give a summary of prostitution in
Utahs past. Prostitution is one of the oldest profession[s](Balls) that came along with the
establishing of towns in Utah. Not long after the mormons moved to the Salt Lake Valley with
Brigham Young, the first Brothels started to pop up near Camp Floyd. Which at the time had
soldier occupants from the expedition of Utah in 1858. After the completion of the
Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, railroad towns such as Corrine in the Box Elder County,

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began to be infiltrated by these ladies of the night (Schindler) and it reached to what is now
Salt Lake City, Utah.
The Red Light District, an area within a town or city containing violence acts or sex
encounters, was first created in order for the government to control and observe the prostitution.
Police raids were often, and many women were arrested. Then the government made a
registration system where they kept a list of who and where the Madams, the women who were
in charge of the prostitutes and who the prostitutes usually worked for. In turn the Madams
provided a list of names of all the girls that worked for them.
Mayor John S. Bransford believed that prostitution was evil and could not be removed,
thus he decided to control it by putting these women in a more reserved area in town. In 1908,
the government started the stockade policy in which the Madams and their girls would move into
a building in which they were able to continue their practice freely.
By Mrs. Dora B. Topham, one of the famous mistresses of the night, creating Citizen's
Investment Company, the Madams were able to buy a building near three railroad tracks on a
plot of land in which the reputation was previously brought down by Greek and Italian workers.
The Government was satisfied with this move because the prostitutes would not decrease the
value of the area. However, the police raids still continued. To prevent these raids, the Madams
found a way to create a security system in which an alarm would sound when the police left their
departments, giving all the prostitutes enough time to clear everything out in order to not get
arrested. This kept going on until Mrs. Topham, or more commonly known as Madam Belle
London, shut the stockade down on September 28, 1911.
Even though the stockade closed, many of the prostitutes moved back into the red light
district located downtown Salt Lake City. In modern day time the Red Light District is located

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on Regent Street, Orpheum Avenue, and off of main street. Even when prostitution is still illegal,
these kind of places are still existing and known for their acts of crime.
Now the act of prostitution is far more different, as it is more out of control than it was
intended. This old profession is something that not only certain women choose to be in, but
some are forcefully in it. The Federal Bureau audit report states that the sex industry is luring in
victims beginning at the age of twelve. Even if it is a choice they decide, it is usually due to their
troubled backgrounds. Utah has become a place where cases of prostitution and human
trafficking are occurring more frequently, as demand for them rises, so the path to eliminating
this situation needs to start now.
The act of prostitution begins with the actual victim, the ones selling their bodies at a
price. Victims that eventually go into this type of business usually come from a poor background
and social status. According to the United Nations Office of Drug and Crime or the UNODC,
United Nations Office of Drug and Crime, the majority of these victims are female at around
80%, while the other 20% are male. Research from Soroptimist of the Americas shows that the
majority of prostitutes were sexually, physically and/ or mentally abused as children, with 85
percent of them having a history of incest. With these troubled backgrounds, it is very easy for
them to fall into this sort of life.
Michael Burbank, the Sergeant of the Organized Crime Unit (OCU) of the Salt Lake City
Police department has been working in this field area for 17 years now and mentions three
different types of ways in which some are lured into prostitution. One group of girls are lured
through their troubled backgrounds. (They) were sexually molested when they were young.
They dont have healthy relationships or a healthy understanding of sex and relationships, so
they become involved with prostitution. He mentions that many drug addicts become prostitutes

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because it is their only way to live. They are addicted to heroin or something like that. They
cant hold down a job and become homeless. They dont have many options in life. Exploiters
get these girls or boys by simply looking for them in the streets and finding vulnerable targets.
They go to malls . . . they look for runaways, they look for girls with low self-esteem that they
can manipulate into prostitution.
A young girl from Utah who entered into prostitution was interviewed for Utahs local
news KSL. A now former victim named Gina Salazar, was taken in by a friend of the family.
After the 14 year olds father passed away, the 35 year old friend eventually controlled her.
She was beaten and forced to have sex with clients. He was very, very violent. Hed hold me at
gunpoint. Hed take pictures of me naked when I was asleep. Hes probably broken every single
bone in my body, (4) Even after he was sent to prison, Salazar remained a prostitute for 15 more
years because there was no other lifestyle for her. Once she was free from her oppressor, she felt
the only thing she could do was to be a prostitute herself.
Prostitution also involves the ones that purchase the victims, or Johns. They are one of
the top reasons why prostitution still exists, because they create the demand and thus more
prostitutes are created. Michelle Jeffs, a J.D. or doctorate of law, focused on the characteristics of
a John in her article Punishing Pimps and Johns: Sex-Trafficking and Utah's Laws .[J]ohns
abuse the women and children that they purchase. Johns come from every walk of life. They
are rich, poor, young, and old, and many are married. Johns are overwhelmingly male, but the
men purchase males as well as females. (224) Many Johns believe the money they use to
purchase these women is given to them, but they dont realize that sometimes they receive
almost no money, and all of the profit will be given to the prostitutes pimp.

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The pimp, or sex trafficker, is the one that manages the business and finds the victims.
There doesnt necessarily have to be a pimp in each occasion, but there are sex traffickers. They
are usually the ones that targets the girl whether finding them online, or acting as a supposed
boyfriend before forcing them to make money off the streets. They take them far from relatives
to make them feel isolated. They often use coercion, violence, and threats to make the victim do
what he wants. In 2013, a man and women named Ontario Lowery and Alyssa Turtenwald were
arrested in Salt Lake City, Utah, for being accused of forcing four women to commit themselves
to prostitution. These sex traffickers, or exploiters, are the ones that keep this business running,
as they find groups of people to manipulate into being prostitutes. They are considered to be at
top of this prostitution chain and are very hard to catch according to Burbank. The person
exploiting the people, they are harder to catch. Theyre more careful and they distance
themselves from the scene of the crime.
Prostitution and human trafficking, are believed by many to be the same thing. Which is
false. They have different definitions, but they are both connected and very similar. While
prostitution is where women turn to, because it seems like it is the option to choose that path,
human trafficking is when the victim is forcibly in the industry against their will. The difference
is that the semantics does not matter because they are both victims of an endless crime. Burbank
defines them as well and sees fit they are both victims:
I can have a prostitute out working that is not being trafficked. And then there are our
trafficking victims that are currently being trafficked and have somebody thats forcing
them to do this . . . At some point that prostitute thats working right now, for herself, that
doesnt have anybody currently exploiting her, at some point in her history Im pretty
sure they had somebody that trafficked her.

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People who fight against human trafficking are fighting for about 4.5 million forced victims. But
there is no support for those who were in or are in prostitution, who have most likely gone
through similar traumatic experiences. The number of prostitutes is 40 million. Instead of helping
4.5 million, we need to help 44.5 million victims.
The laws on prostitution in Utah states that prostitution, soliciting, and patronizing a
prostitute is a class B misdemeanor, and if this is their second time being convicted then it is a
class A misdemeanor. In Utah, an article published by Nolo called Prostitution, Pimping, and
Pandering Laws In Utah defined prostitution as exchange sex for money or other items of
value, and a patron is someone who offers to buy or sell sex. Even if someone is not a prostitute
they will be convicted for being associated with one, such as living in a house of prostitution or
driving a prostitute to their next client. A major associate of a prostitute is a pimp. A pimp is
someone who benefits from the proceeds of a prostitute while aiding and advertising the
prostitute. Pimping is as illegal as prostitution, and is considered a class B misdemeanor.
If they are convicted of a class B or class A misdemeanor, the penalty for prostitution,
soliciting, patronizing, and pimping is a fine of up to $1,000, up to six months in jail, or
both.(Nolo) Although they have these similarities of punishment, if a prostitute, solicitor, or
patron knows they have HIV, even if they never committed any sexual acts with anyone once
they found out, it is a third degree felony with a penalty of a fine of up to $5,000, up to five
years in prison, or both.(Nolo) The same punishment also goes for pimps who is convicted of a
third degree felony obtained through exploiting a prostitute. Also, for pimps Aggravated
exploitation of prostitution is a second degree felony, resulting in a fine of up to $10,000, at least
one year (and up to 15 years) in prison, or both.(Nolo) If an aggravator exploits prostitution
involving a child it is a first degree felony.

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A prostitute can even be a child. Utah law states that if a police officer comes upon a
child prostitute then the officer must conduct an investigation of the child and turn them over to a
division containing the Division of Child and Family Services. Once an arrest is made the
childs parent(s) is contacted. If the child has been arrested before, they will be turned over to
the delinquency court.
Prostitution to some women is their line of work, their source of income. But do they like
what they do? It is true, there is a necessity to make money in order to pay bills, eat, and put food
on the table in this day and age. In the other hand, how do the men feel that about buying these
womens bodies?
Not all women are in control of their own body, there are psychological reasons as to why
women give into prostitution. Addiction to drugs can play a huge role as to why women sell
themselves, these women are street walkers. With the drug use, it mends into prostitution. Its
what sometimes keeps these women in their line of work (Burbank). They are living an endless
cycle of sex and drugs, receiving no help to recover from their illness. Their use of drugs has
become so casual it is like drinking water, it is a need. To continue their use, they sell their
bodies to purchase more drugs.
Escorts or professional sex-workers, are your basic high priced hookers that are, the
commercial branding business that is emphasized as an actual job occupation, nonetheless
career. However, it is also helping them pay their college tuition, selling themselves for sex. It
has been noted women are attracted to the large sums of money they can earn while they are
still young says Dr. Shwartzs in Why Do Women Become Prostitutes and Why Do Men Go To
Them? It gives them a chance to reinvent themselves when they still can.

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For who the buyers are, is not secret, men can insult and use these women to their
advantage but they are a product of this equation as to why women feel so liberal to be involved
in prostitution. There is several kinds of men who participate in this hobby. Married men are
usually the most hard to understand and face. On an article Why Men Use Prostitutes by Julie
Bindel, research shows there was no distinguished between married men or in a relationship.
Most of the people they talked to were one or the other. It is not about feelings or love for them
just the transaction, why it is being done is another story. They do not feel comfortable to ask
their partner for specific request curiosity to their sexual encounters and doing so with someone
they are the least interested in relieves the pressure and the need for it. There is also the insecure
but sex-crazed type, they feel so ashamed of how they look and do not feel confident enough in
themselves to meet and greet with a girl who they do not pay for their service. These men may
also have never been in relationship and find it easier to be with a prostitute. Last but not least,
the men who may be on a business trip and want company. These men can easily be with anyone
whom they choose; they are wealthy in their career, possibly attractive; downside no time for
commitment which leads them to find other solutions.
Utah had made an attempt against prostitution. Utah made its own vice squad. By a
Google definition it is defined as a department or division of a police force that enforces laws
against prostitution, drug abuse, illegal gambling, etc.

With them, prostitution decreased

dramatically. However, the vice squad was terminated because one of the vice squad members
undercover participated in a sexual activity. When the vice squad was terminated, the prostitution
arrest decreased by 92 percent.
Many have proclaimed that legalizing prostitution would solve our problem, but other
countries have tried that. An article by Carol Tan called Does Legalized Prostitution Increase

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Human Trafficking? found a study summarizing Countries with legalized prostitution are
associated with higher human trafficking inflows than countries where prostitution is
prohibited On average, countries with legalized prostitution report a greater incidence of
human trafficking inflows. With legalizing prostitution, human trafficking increased at a fast
rate. Legalizing prostitution is only a solution that will be futile to Utah.
Some people have brought up the idea of relocation. Although, relocating the Red Light
District from its location downtown would be a great idea. There would be many conflicts over
where it should be placed. Another solution that has come into light is that a few people would
like to remove the Red Light District and turn it into an art street in order to increase its value. If
the Red Light District was to be removed it would also conflict with relocation because the
businesses there would not vanish.

Our solution to the problem is simple. We propose to bring back the vice squad. When
the vice squad was in place the arrest of prostitution increased dramatically. Even though one of
the vice squad members in the past broke a law involving prostitution, we should not punish the
whole team and state. The vice squad should be revised and adjusted so they can work under
specific circumstances to reduce prostitution. There should be laws or regulations in which the
vice squad, or member of the vice squad should be trained to avoid similar circumstances. The
vice squad should also be trained to focus more on the Johns or pimps as prosecuting them will
help the vice squad do their job and stop illegal prostitution.
The laws on prostitution should also be stricter on punishment. The laws on prostitution
seem to be made in order to give fines, something quite similar to a detention slip in a high
school. Rather than just giving a fine, Utah has to focus in each case, and make sure it never
happens again. If a prostitute was convicted of an A or B class misdemeanor, it is best to find the

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root problem instead of treating them as a criminal. Usually a prostitute is put under investigation
and is expected to tell who her pimp is. Majority of the time, they do not say who their pimp is,
because they feel threatened by the lies and threats of the trafficker. Utah should offer care and
treat these prostitutes as victims, because they could be actual victims who were forced to
prostitute themselves as children, like Gina Salazar.
The shelters that we currently have in Utah, are only temporary for these women. They
usually are not the type of victim in which these shelters look for. Sgt. Burbank has also seen this
problem. One of the big problems we have is that we dont have enough shelters specifically for
girls or sex workers . . . Its difficult because a lot of the shelters dont really see them fit to their
idea of what their client is. That is why Utah needs to create shelters specifically for troubled
women to understand why they began to prostitute themselves in the first place and offer care. If
they see that we are willing to help them, they will be willing to tell us their story. With these
shelters having programs like drug rehabilitation or dealing with trauma, slowly they will heal
themselves and try to adjust themselves little by little in a world other than prostitution. Like a
rehabilitation center, the offer and care will always be there and will be given as long as someone
convicted of prostitution is willing to make themselves a better person. The program will
ultimately reduce prostitution, but also reduce other crimes associated such as the use of drugs or
alcohol. This will make Utah a great and healthier state.
For the Johns and pimps, we need to reeducate them and tell them why prostitution is
discriminatory and restricts a prostitutes freedom and human rights. If they see they are truly
harming a person, many will decide to stop. Although some will stop, we will still have Johns
and sex traffickers that wont quit doing this so easily. They have more psychological problems
that wont be easy to fix. I dont think theres going to be enough therapy for them to stop

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offending (Burbank). That is why there can be early prevention by educating folks at a younger
age. Its something to teach children or young adults how easy someone can manipulate you into
entering this sort of profession. It is not going to be result in which a parent should scar their
child by exploiting them a scary world, but rather, giving the facts to them little by little so they
can comprehend. They should learn and realize that everyone has their human rights. This will
create future generations of kids understanding how bad discrimination is, rather than being ones
who could enforce it even more.
Prostitution will always be a danger to our society if we do not put an end to it.
Prostitution in Utah has stayed the same and our plan is to minimize as much of the crime as
possible. Our government can do a better job to enforce the laws to provide safer communities
across all the state. To keep our children safe and away from all the dangerous acts that are
involved with prostitution such as rape, medical diseases, and human trafficking. History has
shown no good comes from it there have been many attempts to put an end to it and it is time to
end this endless cycle of malbehavior by the vice squad has shown to provide the best outcomes,
we believe it is the adequate solution for this particular situation. The proposed program will also
bring future positive outcomes and help these people to stop participating in the prostitution
world. Giving education to our children and young adults can create a future in which we deal
with these kinds of cases even less. The solutions that are proposed are best fit for Utah to deal
with prostitution in the state.

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Works Cited
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Burbank, Michael. Personal Interview. 22 Dec. 2015.
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2013. Web.

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