Sex for World Series Tickets Not Prostitution Under Pennsylvania Law, State Appeals Court Says
On Tuesday, a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled that an offer to perform sexual acts in exchange for World Series tickets is not "prostitution" under state law.
Back in October 2009, a woman named Susan Finkelstein allegedly offered sex for World Series tickets via an ad on Craigslist entitled, “DESPERATE BLONDE NEEDS WS TIX (Philadelphia)”. The ad reads:
“Diehard Phillies fan -- gorgeous tall buxom blonde -- in desperate need of two World Series tickets. Price negotiable -- I'm the creative type! Maybe we can help each other!”
The Bensalem, Pa., police contacted Finkelstein after viewing the Craigslist ad and charged that she then "solicited an undercover police officer to perform various sex acts in exchange for a World Series tickets." In March 2010, a jury found Finkelstein not guilty of prostitution, but guilty of attempted prostitution, and Finkelstein appealed her conviction to the state Superior Court.
The Associated Press reports that on Tuesday, the appeals court held that because Finkelstein "was cleared of the more serious prostitution count, she could not be convicted of attempt because the proof required to sustain both charges was the same."
Perhaps more notably, the court added that Finkelstein could not be convicted of attempted prostitution because she was not engaged in "sexual activity as a business" and the crime of prostitution was not intended to "criminalize private illicit sexual relations." The district attorney's office disagreed with the court's reasoning, stating that "our view is that if you're selling sex for something of value, and certainly a World Series ticket is something of value, that is a business transaction."
So where does that leave us in Pennsylvania? Where does "sexual activity as a business" begin and end? For example, could a person "pay" his or her rent each month by providing sexual favors instead of money without running afoul of the state's prostitution laws?
Posted by Bruce Carton on December 21, 2011 at 04:19 PM | Permalink
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