Despite the legitimate arguments in favor of the decriminalization of prostitution, including the health and safety interests of sex workers, young girls often are treated as slaves by their pimps. Really, how could anyone say that a 13-year-old prostitute is in charge of her career?
A prosecutor was quoted as saying that one particular 13-year-old was nothing more than "an easy product to sell" in the eyes of accused 18-year-old pimp Josue Gomez (Daily Herald).
Gomez was found guilty (NBC, Rockford) on a charge of juvenile pimping last week. He faces between four and 15 years in the slammer, according to the article.
The girl testified that she had sex with one man for money but avoided it on three other occasions after telling the johns her age. Gomez's counsel, Illinois criminal defense attorney Margi Worth, claimed the now 14-year-old accuser was not a credible witness:
"Nothing that [the girl] says has been corroborated other than the identity of a residence and a man she had sex with there. The evidence and testimony will demonstrate that she has a bunch of different versions of these events."
But it seems that Gomez also had trouble keeping his stories straight, since he admitted to police last year that he took the girl to meet men for sex. He said he was only the "muscle" for another pimp, which means he's still just as responsible in the eyes of the law.
The juvenile (and thus unnamed) girl testified that she agreed to work for Gomez, the brother of a longtime friend, out of fear. Again, this is an example of a prostitute clearly not in control of her own destiny, although many would argue that decriminalization would prevent such exploitation.
Justice may have been served, but let's hope the girl is provided with enough resources to get on a better path.
Juvenile Pimping (Illinois General Assembly)