How to Make a Date With an Escort over the Phone

Whether you’re feeling lonely or you need a date for a big event, there are a number of dating services you can call to request a companion for an evening. You might feel intimidated about making the first phone call, but think of it as any other date. Before you call, stay safe by researching the escort agency and the laws in your area. Then, be confident and straightforward while speaking to the escort to set up your date successfully.

Part1

Finding an Escort

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    Review local laws find out what services are legal in your area. Calling most escort services will not get you in trouble with the law. What does have the potential to get you in trouble is offering to pay for sexual contact, which is illegal in most countries. Anyone you call, even if they claim to represent an escort service, can get you in trouble by mentioning illicit activities.

    • Phone conversations are not illegal unless they involve offers to exchange money for illicit activities. As long as you don’t do this, you are allowed to have a phone conversation and even meet up with an escort.
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    Avoid calling an escort for selfish reasons like making someone jealous. Make sure an escort service is something you truly want and that you feel comfortable going through with the call. Escorts are people first, so they are not there for you to abuse or use to hurt someone else. They are professionals who make a living out of providing companionship to others.

    • Think of meeting an escort as a regular date. Many escorts do things like provide companionship through talking or eating dinner with you. They call this the girlfriend or boyfriend experience.
    • Respect the escort’s wishes if they aren’t able to accommodate your requests.
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    Look up agencies or ads online to verify their authenticity. Escorts often advertise on websites where classified ads are permitted. Depending on where you are in the world, you may see some ads out in public or in the back of small, alternative magazines. You should take the time to read the ad, get pertinent information such as customer reviews, then select which one you feel comfortable contacting.

    • A quick Internet search will direct you to the websites with classified ads and groups of people familiar with escorts. They can help you identify what you want out of an escort service and give you recommendations on how to proceed.
    • Many escorts also post ads on dating and companionship websites or apps. Be sure to research a person or agency before contacting them through these methods.
    • Keep in mind that high-end escorts often aren’t on review sites for privacy reasons. Look instead for a consistent online presence, such as in ads and on social media. The escort should have several authentic photos available.
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    Read the escort’s ad for prices and other terms of service. The information is there for a reason and can save you a lot of hassle during your call. Most escorts post the important information relating to their services directly in their ads. If the escort doesn’t have all their personal details, rates, rules, and instructions listed directly in their ad, they may include a link to their agency’s website displaying everything you need to know.

    • Some information to look out for is the times you can call, how much the service costs, and the escort’s characteristics.
    • It’s important to get on the same page as the person you’re calling. Reading up on the escort or agency can help you get a picture of who you’re talking to.
Part2

Calling an Escort Service

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    Calm yourself before you dial the number. Take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that this will be like any other date. Most escorts are professionals and won’t judge you for feeling nervous. Many people have that feeling before a date. The important part is to focus on what you need to say.

    • Express yourself. This is your date, after all. You may not have fun if you’re trying to be someone you’re not.
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    Be friendly no matter who you talk to. Put your best foot forward as soon as someone picks up the phone. Escort services get all sorts of callers who don’t respect the well-being of their employees. As professionals, they know how to handle these sorts of calls. If you’re rude, expect to get hung up on.

    • Being friendly includes taking a conversational tone with booking agents at agencies as well. They have the power to prevent you from reaching an escort you wish to speak with.
    • The escort or booking agent should be friendly as well. If they seem rude or questionable, you may be better off going somewhere else. Make sure you trust them before you do business with them.
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    Ask for the escort you chose after someone answers the phone. You can simply say, “Hi, my name is (your name). Is (escort’s name) there?” You may end up talking to a booking agent before you reach the person you intended. Expect this to happen if you call an agency.

    • Booking agents are there to screen calls and set up schedules. If you have any questions about escorts or the agencies, take the time to ask them.
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    Tell the escort or agency that you would like to make an appointment. Saying something like “What’s up?” isn’t appropriate. Talk to the escort or agent like you would any other professional service. If you remember where you saw the escort’s ad, mention it as well to start the conversation.

    • Try to be straightforward with what you want. The escort or their agency experience all sorts of calls. They want to get a clear representation of who you are as a customer to avoid problems.
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    Avoid using code words or asking about possible illicit activities. Read between the lines of the ad. Smart escorts will not answer questions about explicit acts or payment for them. Most people will hang up on you as soon as you stray into that territory. Use the ad as guidance for what the escort is willing to do.

    • Trying to argue or bribe an escort or their agency won’t work. They don’t want to get arrested or risk meeting up with a bad customer
Part3

Scheduling an Escort

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    Set a time the escort can come and meet you. Avoid making the escort or agency choose when you should meet up. They don’t know your schedule. Pick a time you feel safe meeting up and discuss it with the person you are talking to. If they can accommodate you, they will agree to the time.

    • For example, ask, “Can you meet me in the lobby of The Overlook at 8:00 PM tonight?”
    • You may need to negotiate on the time frame a bit. The escort may not be available at your preferred time. They will suggest the closest time that works for them. If you can’t come to an agreement, you can set an appointment with someone else.
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    Give the escort your name, phone number, and address. Use your real name! Most escorts or agencies will try to research you online in order to verify that you are not a threat. You don’t have to use your home address, but you do need to pick a safe location to meet up. Give your real phone number in case the escort needs to get in touch with you.

    • A safe location can be your hotel room number, the hotel’s lobby, or a public place like a restaurant.
    • The escort won’t agree to meet up unless they feel comfortable doing so. Make sure you also feel comfortable with the location you set.
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    Explain where you plan on going during the date. Be clear on your plans if the escort or agency asks for them. Most escorts rely on having a specific schedule. This schedule can be as elaborate as you want as long as you pay for enough time and the escort agrees to it. You might go out to dinner together or stay in and talk over drinks, for instance.

    • For example, you might say, “We will be going to the restaurant at 8:30 PM.”
    • Escorts need to know the time and place of a date for their own safety, so don’t take it personally.
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    Settle on a payment for the date. Since this is a business transaction, you should come to a pricing agreement before finalizing the arrangement. Ask the escort or agency for the price of a date if they don’t tell you themselves. Most will charge by the hour. Haggling is usually frowned upon, so avoid it as much as possible.

    • Be clear about your schedule for the date so you can come to a price agreement. You may be forced to pay more if the date goes on longer than you anticipated.
Part4

Meeting Your Date

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    Clean yourself and dress up before your date. You would never show up to a date with gnarly fingernails, unruly hair, body odor, and a ripped T-shirt. Treat this date like you would any other. Take a shower, put on deodorant, and groom yourself. You don’t have to dress fancy, but you should look presentable.

    • For example, a clean pair of jeans and a T-shirt are appropriate for most casual dates. If you go somewhere nice, such as a fancy restaurant, adjust your outfit to match what you expect others to wear.
    • All you have to do is put your best foot forward. Professional escorts won’t make fun of you and appreciate when customers follow basic social conventions like proper hygiene.
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    Leave the money in a white envelope on the table. Most escorts cannot accept a bank or credit card. Go to an ATM ahead of time to withdraw the payment you and the escort agreed upon. Put it in an accessible location, such as on a table, when you meet up.

    • The escort will take time to count the money and verify its authenticity. Don’t be offended by this. They have to protect themselves from customers who try to scam them.
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    Cancel the appointment if you change your mind. Call the escort or the agency right away. As long as you explain your reasoning politely and apologize, they will understand. If the escort already went to meet you, remember that they invested time and money preparing and traveling. Consider giving them a tip for the trouble.

    • Avoid stiffing them on the bill. You wouldn’t like being treated that way at work. If you cancel at the last minute, pay for at least the first half hour and travel expenses.
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    Avoid going on the date if it isn’t what you agreed to. If an agency sends the wrong escort or the escort isn’t what their ad promised, you should not go on a date. Hold the escort or their agency accountable for the mistake. You do not need to pay for the service. If the escort or their agency pressures you, refuse and walk away.

    • The escort service should be what you agreed to on the phone. Never feel pressured to accept a service you don’t want.
    • Keep in mind that if you decide to go through with the date, you have to pay for it even if it wasn’t what you originally wanted.

     

 

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‘The Pickup Artist’ Goes Inside the Sleazy World of Men Who Try to Manipulate Women into Bed

A concise disclaimer runs at the beginning of the new documentary The Pickup Game, premiering in New York on Nov. 8. “This documentary includes a number of ‘pickup’ techniques and strategies,” it reads. “These have been included for discussion and illustrative purposes only. The Producers and their affiliates do not endorse or approve of these messages in any way.”

The Pickup Game is based on the controversial bestselling book by Neil Strauss called The Game. The book exposed the underground pickup industry that grew from confidence-building dating tutorials into a network of companies rooted in misogyny and led by “alpha-male instructors” promising to teach men how to trick women into sleeping with them. It is exactly as nauseating as it sounds.

Directed by Matthew and Barnaby O’Connor, The Pickup Game features footage from pickup “bootcamps,” hidden camera clips of “artists” testing out their techniques on real women, and interviews with famous pickup instructors such as Paul Janka and Erik Von Markovik. The latter, who goes by the alias “Mystery,” proudly demonstrates that when you ask Siri to show you a picture of a pickup artist, his is the first image to come up.

The “techniques and strategies” detailed in the 96-minute film are essentially a set of manipulative conversational tricks that are commonly practiced in the pickup community, like a memorized “opener” to start a conversation with a stranger and “negging,” or giving a woman a backhanded compliment. Inhabitants of this little-known world communicate in an entirely foreign language, one of abbreviations and acronyms designed to make predatory behavior sound academic, like some kind of pervy pseudo-psychology.

On top of openers and negging, there is also “DHV,” which means “demonstration of higher value” and refers to the way an insecure pickup “student” might imitate what he perceives to be the behavior of a “higher status” male. “Approach anxiety” is the cutesy nickname for when a man is uncomfortable with the idea of approaching and immediately becoming physical with a stranger on the street. Rather than a totally normal response to an unnatural social situation, this is considered a sign of weakness that men must overcome if they ever want to have sex.

And then there is the “false time constraint” method in which a pickup artist (I shudder every time I have to refer to these sleazeballs as “artists”) tells a woman he only has a few minutes to talk before he needs to be somewhere else, easing the awkwardness of conversing with a complete stranger and making his target feel less cornered. This technique is more commonly known as lying.

The point of exposing all of this is not to offer women a cautionary guide to the kind of sneaky tricks any man might effectively deploy (though it is probably worth the watch for the five remaining unjaded women in the world who genuinely believe the men who hit on them at bars have their best interests in mind). Instead, the film argues that the multimillion-dollar pickup industry thrives not because the insane methods preached at $3,000 bootcamps actually work, but largely because of marketing scams.

An anonymous former marketing expert for the industry, who goes by the pseudonym Michael M., describes how the hidden camera videos instructors use as proof of their success in the field are misleadingly edited. Often for every shot of a successful pickup, there are 95 unused shots of the instructor striking out, Michael M. explains.

Some companies will cheat the system further by hiring actresses to pretend to be the targets in promotional videos, or even recruiting escorts to engage with students at boot camps, creating the false impression that their newly acquired knowledge was worth the hefty price tag. Once the students believe their pickup education is working, they are willing to shell out more cash for other programs.

Still, The Pickup Game could have and probably should have been more emphatic in its condemnation of the dark implications of this coercive, misogynistic industry. Only in its final 20 minutes does the documentary grapple with the sexual violence inevitable in a practice led by men like Bruce Roth, a New York-based dating instructor who told a room full of students that he likes dating Asian women because they are “obedient, good little dogs” and Julien Blanc, dubbed the “most hated man in the world” for tweeting things like “Man, I will teach you how to ‘shatter’ her lack of consent. Pay me and rape them all.”

The film’s final act details a horrifying 2016 rape case that resulted in three members of the online pickup artist community—Alex Smith and Jonas Dick, instructors working for the Efficient Pickup company, and Jason Berlin, a student—each being sentenced to eight years in prison. The men had documented the details of their gang rape of a heavily intoxicated, barely conscious woman in disturbing blog posts. According to the film and the blog posts, the men were laughing during and after the attack. “This is fucking hilarious,” Berlin wrote.

It’s surprisingly easy to grow desensitized to guys with terrible facial hair blatantly objectifying women for an hour and a half. And it is also tempting to dismiss the men onscreen as pathetic and embarrassing, even to laugh at them. A whole separate article could be written about the cringe-worthy, telling fashion choices the men in the pickup community make. An open black magician’s vest over a white button-down shirt? Sure. Fedora and matching nail polish? Why not. Teeny, tiny man-bun? Practically a pickup artist requirement.

But the reality is that the pickup game is about something far more sinister than sad men who are afraid of rejection; it is an industry built on blurring the lines of consent. The Pickup Game could have done more to remind us of that.

 

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Harvey Weinstein Charged with Rape

Got him!

Shortly after the first day of Harvey Weinstein’s New York sex crimes trial concluded, the disgraced movie mogul was indicted in Los Angeles on similar charges. 

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Monday that Weinstein has been charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another in separate incidents over a two-day period in 2013. 

Weinstein was charged with one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by use of force and sexual battery by restraint.

An arraignment will be scheduled for a later date.

“We believe the evidence will show that the defendant used his power and influence to gain access to his victims and then commit violent crimes against them,” Lacey said in a statement. “I want to commend the victims who have come forward and bravely recounted what happened to them. It is my hope that all victims of sexual violence find strength and healing as they move forward.”

On Feb. 18, 2013, Weinstein allegedly went to a hotel and raped a woman after pushing his way inside her room.

The next evening, the defendant is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a hotel suite in Beverly Hills.

Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $5 million. If convicted, Weinstein faces up to 28 years in state prison.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, which has been reviewing allegations presented against Weinstein by local police agencies for nearly two years, said ahead of Christmas it had eight such cases pending before its task force of specially trained deputy district attorneys.

Weinstein, who was indicted in May 2018 in Manhattan, has been charged with five sex crimes, including rape and predatory assault, involving two women in encounters dating to 2006 and 2013. His New York trial began Monday. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harvey Weinstein charged with rape, sexual battery in Los Angeles over 2013 allegations.

 

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January is unofficially considered ‘divorce month’ in legal circles due to a peak in filings. Here’s a divorce lawyer’s advice on how to survive your own separation.

Matrimonial attorneys across the nation have prepared for this January, when divorce filings peak. Unofficially dubbed “divorce month” in legal circles nationwide, there’s a variety of reasons why couples have historically chosen to separate after the holidays — and a number of ways for clients to cope.

The phrase “divorce month” became so prevalent in matrimonial law that, in 2016, a study from the University of Washington was conducted to see if there was any statistical evidence to back up the anecdotes. Researchers examined divorce filings from 2001 to 2015 in the state of Washington and determined that filings did indeed increase in January, compared to December.

Ohio, Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona were also found to exhibit similar patterns; according to Google Trends, the topic of “divorce” peaked the week of January 6 through 12. But while divorce filings spike in January, couples begin their search for legal resources during the holidays when many attorneys are out of office.

On Pinterest, searches for “divorce party” rose an average of 21% from December to January in 2019. This interest is confirmed in matrimonial law offices, where the last two weeks of December are often the busiest of the year as attorneys prepare for the influx of filings.

But why the increase in the first place? For many, the new year often reminds us that we need a fresh start. This is particularly common in unhealthy relationships and dead-end marriages, where couples may decide the best resolution is to part ways. It’s also important to remember that winter and summer holidays are culturally important times for families with children, and filing for divorce during them may be seen as inappropriate.

Other troubled marriages may see the holidays as a time to patch things up, with hopes that things will improve. People often raise their expectations during the holidays, despite past troubles in their relationship. Coupled with an expectation for positive change at the new year, many couples attempt to stick it out through the holidays.

But for others, the University of Washington study found the holidays to be exhausting and emotionally demanding, exposing cracks in their marriages. According to the report, “the consistent pattern in filings, the researchers believe, reflects the disillusionment unhappy spouses feel when the holidays don’t live up to expectations.”

But anyone considering divorce should always remember that fear of separation and holiday tunnel vision are never rational reasons to stay in toxic relationships. While most clients fear divorce, very few ever regret going through with it. In the end, all parties end up happier and better off, and the experience becomes liberating.

Sometimes couples are advised by tax professionals to delay filing until the new year. In most instances, filing jointly as married can help couples take advantage of tax breaks before separation. Attorneys may also advise clients to wait until the new year to take advantage of or avoid new legislation, such as The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which enacted new tax rules regarding alimony payments.

In divorces finalized after January 1, 2019, spousal support can no longer be deducted from taxes. And for those receiving alimony, spousal support is no longer considered taxable income. This significantly increases the burden on the individual paying alimony and ultimately means more money for the government.

So before making an appointment with an attorney in January, there are a few things couples should consider. First of all, it’s not uncommon for couples considering separation to simply be victims of holiday stress. Take some time to reflect upon your relationship and determine if it is really worth salvaging. If both partners agree it’s time to move on, it’s typically in everyone’s best interest to proceed with commencing the divorce process.

If you do decide to proceed with divorce, don’t be afraid to ask your therapist, attorney, or a support group for help, and be sure to make time for self-care and positive thoughts. The holidays are a stressful time, and the New Year can bring much needed clarity, regardless of your ultimate decision.

During the separation process, your attorney will help you decide how to best reach your financial and parenting goals. As previously noted, they will consider, among other things, the tax implications of your decision and potential new legislation that may take effect in the new year.

When clients decide to begin the divorce process, we advise that they should explore therapy as early as possible. There is no longer a stigma attached, and you cannot afford to neglect your feelings — negative emotions and hurt feelings can cloud judgment. Therapy can help you prioritize your thoughts, providing you with a trustworthy third party while separating knee-jerk emotional reactions from what’s best for you, your children, and your future.

Clients should also reach out to their attorneys for as much information on the process as possible. The more they know about the legal process, the less stressful it’s likely to be. Lawyers can also give advice on how to reach support communities, as well as ways to best proceed emotionally.

We recommend staying off social media, and urge clients not to use it to air grievances. Avoid following your spouse’s feeds too closely so that you can stay focused on ending your marriage as quickly and equitably as possible.

Practice self-care instead. Make sure you’re eating right, exercising, and taking time for your own recreation. Twenty minutes of exercise a day goes a long way in helping clients cope by lowering anxiety and stress and helps to deter depression and negative emotions.

A healthy social life is another excellent way to maintain positive thoughts. Focus on staying out of the tunnel vision divorce can cause and remember that life will go on. Many clients fear the end of the process the most, but, once it’s over, the vast majority of them experience instant relief and go on to happier relationships.

If your marriage is putting pressure on you this holiday season, just know you’re not alone should you make the decision to file for divorce. The holidays can be a stressful time, but remember that in addition to your attorney, therapists and other wellness providers can be great resources.

Overall, take your time and do what’s right for you. And, once you make your final call, don’t look back.

 

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Transgender Women Challenge Pennsylvania Law That Doesn’t Allow Name Change

Three trans women have filed a lawsuit that challenges a provision of Pennsylvania’s name change law that doesn’t allow people convicted of some felonies, such as aggravated assault, to change their names.

Alonda Talley, Chauntey Mo’Nique Porter, and Priscylla Renee Von Noaker are working with the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and the law firm Reed Smith, which is working on the case pro bono, to build a constitutional challenge. They filed a lawsuit Wednesday to have the court declare this provision of the law unconstitutional and to enjoin the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from enforcing it.

The amendment to the law on name changes went into effect in 1998 and was designed to prevent fraud, such as to circumvent financial obligations, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The women’s complaint argues that under the Pennsylvania constitution, it is a fundamental right to control your name.

“The Pennsylvania Constitution does not allow for a system under which a person has no opportunity to show that they are seeking a name change for a non-fraudulent purpose (such as to reflect a gender transition), and a court has no opportunity to decide whether the petitioner is seeking a name change for a non-fraudulent purpose,” the complainants argue.

As a result of not being able to change their names, the women say they suffer harassment and are prevented from getting the health care they need.

Porter was convicted of aggravated assault in 2008. As a result of her not being able to change her name, she said she has experienced abuse, harassment, and humiliation from police, employers, coworkers, and service providers such as bank employees, the lawsuit explains. She said in 2017, doctors told her she didn’t qualify for a transition-related surgery because her current legal name is evidence of her not “living as a woman.”

The women also described incidents such as being forced to go into offices in person for finances and other tasks people can usually do over the phone due to the lack of name change.

It’s already fairly difficult for transgender people to change their names and gender markers regardless of whether they been convicted of a crime or face other challenges, such as immigration status. For gender markers, some states require a surgical procedure of some kind but don’t state what that procedure must be. Many transgender people can’t afford surgeries or don’t want surgeries. In this respect, many of the policies around name and gender marker changes assume that all trans people have exactly the same experiences and paths toward transitioning. Filing fees for name changes can also be expensive. In some states, transgender people have to print a notification of a name change in a local newspaper, which also costs money. These challenges also affect transgender people’s voting rights. Alonda Talley, one of the women involved in the Pennsylvania lawsuit, said her identity has been questioned when she went to exercise her voting rights.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality’s 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey (USTS), only 11% of trans people have their name and gender that corresponds with their gender on all identity documents and records. The survey also showed that 32% of trans people who did not have IDs matching their gender presentation said they had experiences being attacked, harassed, or denied services.

Many trans people face financial barriers and some of the most marginalized transgender people are involved in the criminal justice system. The USTS survey shows 29% of respondents said they were living in poverty, which was even higher for respondents of color, and 12% of undocumented respondents had been incarcerated in the past year. Nine percent of black trans women and 7% of homeless trans people were incarcerated in the past year, respectively.

States have considerable variations in their policies on whether people convicted of crimes can change their names, according to a guide by Trans Lifeline Microgrants which was last updated in the fall of 2017. Some states don’t have any limitations at all and others target sex offenders specifically. In some cases, people convicted of crimes have to wait a decade to change their names. In Alabama, people can’t change their names if they’ve been convicted of a felony, sex offense, or a “crime of moral turpitude,” a broad term that can apply to almost any crime. In Texas, when people try to change their name, they fill out a petition and list all convictions above Class C misdemeanors. If someone has a felony, it can be pardoned or they must wait until two years after release from parole or probation, or two years after receiving a certificate of discharge from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

 

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Prince Andrew is a Fucking Liar

The Duke of York claimed on Saturday night that he could not have had sex with a teenage girl in the London home of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell because he was at home after attending a children’s party at Pizza Express in Woking.

Prince Andrew gave the startling explanation in a bombshell interview with Emily Maitlis for BBC’s Newsnight in which he was grilled about his relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who has been exposed as a pedophile.

In a sometimes rambling and contradictory account of their friendship, the prince insisted he had not had sex with any women trafficked by Epstein in any of his properties. He confirmed that he had flown on Epstein’s now notorious jet, nicknamed the Lolita Express, and stayed on his private island and at his home in Palm Beach, as well as at his New York mansion.

“If you’re a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody,” the prince explained. “You have to …. take some sort of positive action and so therefore if you try to forget it’s very difficult to try and forget a positive action and I do not remember anything.”

Of the allegations that he had sex with Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, when she was 17, the prince categorically denied it ever happened.

Roberts has said that they partied at Tramp nightclub in London on 10 March 2001, before going back to Maxwell’s Belgravia mews house where she claims she had sex with Andrew.

The prince said: “I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose four or five in the afternoon. And then because the duchess [Sarah Ferguson] was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other is there.”

A photograph of the prince with his arm around Roberts’s waist has been widely circulated, but the prince repeatedly said in his Newsnight interview he had “no recollection of that photograph ever being taken”. He said the picture appeared to have been taken upstairs in Maxwell’s house, somewhere “I don’t think I ever went”.

Yesterday Giuffre retweeted several disparaging tweets about the prince including one that read: “Prince Andrew’s shocking interview was an attempt to save his reputation – but it just raised more questions.”

In the interview the prince said he last saw Maxwell earlier this year. He defended his relationship with Epstein, who was found dead earlier this year in prison while being held on sex trafficking charges, saying it had opened up opportunities for him as he transitioned out of the navy: “In the navy it’s a pretty isolated business because you’re out at sea the whole time and I was going to become the special representative for international trade and development. The opportunities I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”

He confirmed that Epstein had been a guest at Windsor and Sandringham and that he attended a dinner celebrating the financier’s release from prison. An arrest warrant was issued for Epstein in May 2006, for sexual assault of a minor. The prince confirmed that he invited Epstein to Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday the following July and was unaware that the warrant had been issued.

In 2010, the prince was photographed walking with Epstein in New York’s Central Park – two years after Epstein’s first conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution. When it was pointed out during the interview that he was staying at the house of a “convicted sex offender”, he said: “It was a convenient place to stay… At the end of the day, with the benefit of all the hindsight one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time, I felt it was the honourable and right thing to do. And I admit fully that my judgment was probably coloured by my tendency to be too honourable but that is just the way it is.”

The prince said he went to the US to tell Epstein they could no longer see each other, as “doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way”. Of claims that witnesses saw young girls entering Epstein’s mansion, the prince said: “you have to understand that his house, I described it … almost as a railway station … there were people coming in and out… all the time.”

He appeared to be open to giving a statement under oath, something Epstein’s victims have been demanding: “If push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so.” Before the broadcast, Gloria Allred, a lawyer acting for a number of Epstein’s victims, said: “Rather than just going on television he, I think, would be well served to just say I’m willing to take the oath and appear at a deposition.”

The prince said that his association with the financier had been “a constant sore in the family”.

The Duke of York claimed on Saturday night that he could not have had sex with a teenage girl in the London home of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell because he was at home after attending a children’s party at Pizza Express in Woking.

Prince Andrew gave the startling explanation in a bombshell interview with Emily Maitlis for BBC’s Newsnight in which he was grilled about his relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who has been exposed as a pedophile.

In a sometimes rambling and contradictory account of their friendship, the prince insisted he had not had sex with any women trafficked by Epstein in any of his properties. He confirmed that he had flown on Epstein’s now notorious jet, nicknamed the Lolita Express, and stayed on his private island and at his home in Palm Beach, as well as at his New York mansion.

“If you’re a man it is a positive act to have sex with somebody,” the prince explained. “You have to …. take some sort of positive action and so therefore if you try to forget it’s very difficult to try and forget a positive action and I do not remember anything.”

Of the allegations that he had sex with Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, when she was 17, the prince categorically denied it ever happened.

Roberts has said that they partied at Tramp nightclub in London on 10 March 2001, before going back to Maxwell’s Belgravia mews house where she claims she had sex with Andrew.

The prince said: “I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose four or five in the afternoon. And then because the duchess [Sarah Ferguson] was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other is there.”

A photograph of the prince with his arm around Roberts’s waist has been widely circulated, but the prince repeatedly said in his Newsnight interview he had “no recollection of that photograph ever being taken”. He said the picture appeared to have been taken upstairs in Maxwell’s house, somewhere “I don’t think I ever went”.

Yesterday Giuffre retweeted several disparaging tweets about the prince including one that read: “Prince Andrew’s shocking interview was an attempt to save his reputation – but it just raised more questions.”

In the interview the prince said he last saw Maxwell earlier this year. He defended his relationship with Epstein, who was found dead earlier this year in prison while being held on sex trafficking charges, saying it had opened up opportunities for him as he transitioned out of the navy: “In the navy it’s a pretty isolated business because you’re out at sea the whole time and I was going to become the special representative for international trade and development. The opportunities I was given to learn either by him or because of him were actually very useful.”

He confirmed that Epstein had been a guest at Windsor and Sandringham and that he attended a dinner celebrating the financier’s release from prison. An arrest warrant was issued for Epstein in May 2006, for sexual assault of a minor. The prince confirmed that he invited Epstein to Princess Beatrice’s 18th birthday the following July and was unaware that the warrant had been issued.

In 2010, the prince was photographed walking with Epstein in New York’s Central Park – two years after Epstein’s first conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution. When it was pointed out during the interview that he was staying at the house of a “convicted sex offender”, he said: “It was a convenient place to stay… At the end of the day, with the benefit of all the hindsight one can have, it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But at the time, I felt it was the honorable and right thing to do. And I admit fully that my judgment was probably colored by my tendency to be too honorable but that is just the way it is.”

The prince said he went to the US to tell Epstein they could no longer see each other, as “doing it over the telephone was the chicken’s way”. Of claims that witnesses saw young girls entering Epstein’s mansion, the prince said: “you have to understand that his house, I described it … almost as a railway station … there were people coming in and out… all the time.”

He appeared to be open to giving a statement under oath, something Epstein’s victims have been demanding: “If push came to shove and the legal advice was to do so, then I would be duty bound to do so.” Before the broadcast, Gloria Allred, a lawyer acting for a number of Epstein’s victims, said: “Rather than just going on television he, I think, would be well served to just say I’m willing to take the oath and appear at a deposition.”

The prince said that his association with the financier had been “a constant sore in the family”.

 

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‘Who’s buying sex in Center City on lunch break?’ Bill takes aim at sex trafficking at massage parlors

Behind darkened doors, barred windows, or surveilled entrances, thousands of massage parlors hiding exploited sex workers are operating across the country. But lately, in some cities, more of the visitors knocking on their doors are inspectors.

In San Francisco, 150 illicit massage businesses have been shut down since 2015 largely thanks to enforcement of a new municipal code. A toughened ordinance led to the shutdown of 38 businesses in Houston within a year.

And nationwide, at least 13 cities have proposed new ordinances since a report in January documented the operation of more than 9,000 illicit massage businesses in the U.S. — establishments that are commonly used as fronts for sex trafficking of vulnerable women.

 

Philadelphia could be next to join; on Thursday, Councilman William K. Greenlee introduced a bill to add regulations aimed at making a dent in the number of such businesses here.

In several cities, recently enacted measures have successfully shut down illicit businesses without penalizing the workers, who are often victims of trafficking. The approach is a far cry from the traditional police busts that result in prostitution arrests for the workers but do little to stop the owners from reopening a week later with a new name or new employees.

 

“We want to make sure that these places aren’t just fronts for human trafficking,” said Greenlee, who plans to talk with stakeholders about the proposal over the summer. “Human trafficking is clearly a problem and it’s happening, at least to some [extent], in our city. … We need to try to address it.”

The bill would create licensing and registration requirements that would put burdens on owners opening illegitimate shops.  Violations could shut down businesses and discourage new ones from opening.

 

“We need to make it harder for these businesses to just pop up and go down and pop up,” said Shea Rhodes, director of the Villanova Law Institute to Address Commercial Sexual Exploitation, whom Greenlee’s office consulted.

Since January, 46 illicit massage businesses have been shut down across the country in part or completely because of code enforcement, according to Polaris, an advocacy group that runs the national human-trafficking hotline and that released the January report.

About 260 illicit massage businesses are in Pennsylvania and 370 in New Jersey. They operate in the city and neighboring counties, the Inquirer and Daily News has reported.

The businesses are most commonly staffed by female immigrants from Asian countries who come here under false promises of visas, good pay, or a new life, according to Polaris. They are then forced into sex work by massage-business owners, who add on debt after debt to keep the women in servitude.

 

Greenlee’s bill would require every massage establishment to be licensed with the city in addition to the state, display certificates and prices publicly, keep detailed records of services, and not operate outside the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Under the bill, violations found during inspections could result in fines of $200 to $2,000, which can add up daily, and possible license suspension or revocation. It also includes a proposed  $500 annual license fee.

 

Code enforcement can cause businesses to shut down through several paths: The owner’s license is revoked, the number of violations add up and the operation can successfully be closed down as a nuisance, or the violations are used as evidence in a criminal case. Plus, the owner may decide to close up shop when facing fines.

 

“The owners just say, ‘This isn’t worth it,’ ” said Meghan Carton, strategic initiatives specialist with Polaris. “In Philadelphia, where they haven’t had a civil enforcement tool, this will be a shock to [owners].”

 

The bill would hold owners accountable for any violations by the business, thus protecting the workers from fines. It also requires workers to be fully clothed.

Greenlee’s draft bill could change after conversations with experts and other stakeholders, his office said. Key provisions in other cities have included a regulation against anyone living or sleeping on business premises, which can prevent workers from being held captive inside, and against internal locks, so that workers cannot be confined in rooms with clients and inspectors can open the door unannounced.

Other ordinances have aimed to keep the businesses from cropping up after being shut down by prohibiting another massage business from opening in the same location or by barring an owner from opening another business. Those provisions aren’t yet in Philadelphia’s bill.

 

Villanova’s Rhodes said there also needs to be more awareness that paying for sex is a crime.

 

“Who’s buying sex in Center City on their lunch break?” she asked. “What businesses do they work for? And how are they finding the locations to go and buy sex? Are they using their desk phones and desk computers to search for it?”

 

As part of its strategic plan against human trafficking, Houston in 2016 strengthened its massage-business ordinance, created a municipal court diversion program to connect potential victims with legal services, and set up a program to find them care and temporary shelter.

 

And in San Francisco, health department officials have used a mix of citations, penalties, permit suspensions and revocations, local zoning regulations, and discerning review of new permit applications to reduce the number of permitted massage establishments in the city from 350 to 193.

 

“The employees are generally viewed as the victims, so the fines and penalties are largely directed toward the owners,” said Patrick Fosdahl, an assistant director in the city’s Department of Public Health.

Officials and experts have one other group in mind when crafting these laws: real massage therapists. The bill is crafted to put a minimal burden on aboveboard businesses.

 

“We’re not trying to hurt the legitimate massage therapists,” Greenlee said. “We have a problem here in Philadelphia and we need to try to address it the best we can.”

 

 

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