physics professor David C. Flory

The Good News and the Bad News About The NM Ruling

  • The good news about this ruling from New Mexico Supreme Court is that these two website owners will go free and not have to suffer going to jail for prostitution which ought not be criminal.
  • The bad news is that it lets the majority of the adult prostitution websites  that  mainly female providers use for advertizing are owned  primarily by male customers  to go unchecked.  Its a problem for us female providers that we are not in control of our own image and advertizing.  Due to the criminalization of our first amendment rights to free speech, we don’t have the right to negotiate for our own labor and safe work conditions.  And since male customers have more access to all kinds of resources like financial backing and technology, they’ve managed to take complete control of all the websites we rely on to advertize and thereby dominate our economy.
  • These websites dictate the terms of our speech by allowing or disallowing us to advertize ourselves as providing the kinds of services we prefer and who we prefer see as clients or not as well as what kinds of rates we charge.  This violates our principals of having the right to refuse service-the right to say no.  These websites attract and support groups of male customers who coordinate the review system of our mainly female service providers by which they threaten us with bad reviews to force us to provide the kinds of services they want at the rates they want.  Or they write fake reviews to blacklist us from being able to get any work at all.
  • The solution is to decriminalize prostitution so that we can tell the truth about who we are so as to restore our right to say yes in the kinds of services we provide as a protected right.  Too customers must be able to tell the truth about what kinds of service they’d like and have that respected as protected right too.
  • But male customers must be barred from dominating our work; we must ban male customers from being in charge our advertizing on any terms in any capacity.
  • NM high court issues setback in prostitution case

    By RUSSELL CONTRERAS, Associated Press
    Updated 1:10 pm, Wednesday, February 6, 2013
    Robert Gorence, attorney for former University of New Mexico president F. Chris Garcia, talks to reporters outside the New Mexico Supreme Court chambers in Santa Fe, Wednesday Feb. 6, 2013. The state’s high court denied Wednesday prosecutors’ requests to overturn a lower court’s ruling that nothing in state law made a website linked to Garcia and retired Fairleigh Dickinson University physics professor David C. Flory illegal. Prosecutors said the website was promoting prostitution. Photo: Russell Contreras

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court dealt a blow Wednesday to the prosecution’s case against two aging college professors accused of helping run an online prostitution ring, and denied a request to overturn a lower court’s ruling that nothing in state law made the website illegal.

The state’s high court ruled without comment to deny a request by the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s office to allow them to continue with a case that has drawn national attention and highlighted what some online experts say are New Mexico’s outdated anti-prostitution laws.

A state judge in June ruled that the website “Southwest Companions” — which was linked to former University of New Mexico president F. Chris Garcia and retired Fairleigh Dickinson University physics professor David C. Flory — violated no laws.

Both were arrested by Albuquerque police in June 2011 on charges of promoting prostitution after a yearlong police investigation into an alleged multistate operation where prostitutes and patrons could meet.

But District Judge Stan Whitaker found that an online message board could not be a house of prostitution under state law.

Prosecutors then took the functional equivalent of an appeal — an extraordinary writ — to the New Mexico Supreme Court. They said Whitaker had exceeded his authority in requiring the grand jury to be informed of the ruling, and they said his decision relied on facts not in evidence.

During arguments Wednesday, Michael Fricke, deputy district attorney for Bernalillo County, said he believed that the Internet “was a place” and therefore the website and its owners could be prosecuted under the state’s narrowly defined anti-prostitution laws.

Attorneys Teri Duncan, who represents Flory, countered that the state laws were clear and that the website didn’t fall into that category.

“Looking at the language of the statute, it’s clear that the place of prosecution … is intended to be a physical place,” she said.

New Mexico Supreme Court Judge Richard Bosson hinted that he agreed.

“The Legislature hasn’t looked at this in 30 years,” he said. “Maybe they should.”

State lawmakers are considering a proposal that could strengthen state law to include online prostitution websites.

Experts said that decades-old laws in New Mexico and other states make it difficult for authorities and prosecutors to go after prostitution-linked websites because the laws don’t necessarily outlaw the practice in cyberspace.

Fricke said prosecutors will reevaluate the case to decide if they could seek other charges.

Garcia’s attorney, Robert Gorence, said his client was “joyous” after learning of the high court’s decision.

“He’s been factually innocent from the very beginning,” Gorence said. “This has caused him great anguish.”


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