|Posted by sexworkrecovery on February 13, 2013 at 3:50 PM|
Sex Workers Anonymous
Trafficking and Prostitution Services
(702) 498-6211 or (888) 253-9619
To: Attorney General's Office
Members of the Legislature
Re: Sex Trafficking Legislation
To Whom It May Concern:
First, I guess I should introduce myself to those of you whom I've not spoken to before. My name is
Jody Williams. In 1987, I founded the first ever 12 Step program to deal with the sex worker in “all”
forms and manifestations according to Alcoholics Anonymous when I applied to them for permission to
adapt their Steps and Traditions to our program. What I mean by this is that our membership was/is
open to men and women, of any age, race, gender, and sexual identity who are from any area of the sex
industry ranging from prostitutes, to strippers, madams, pimps, the porn industry, telephone sex
operators, webcam workers, and even the “professional mistresses” and dominatrix's.
We called ourselves “Prostitutes Anonymous” from 1987 until 1995 when we changed our name to
“Sex Workers Anonymous” because of the invention of the internet and it's impact on the sex industry.
Because of the internet – our program was suddenly seeing members coming in for help who had never
had any physical intercourse with their clients at any time in their “career”. They certainly couldn't
identify with the word “prostitute” was one of the reasons for the name change. For another, we found
many telephone directories, databases, and adult filters on the internet on college and library internet
search engines which would block us for using the word “prostitute” - but we did not receive the same
blockage when using the name “Sex Workers” instead. We also had developed members over time who
really couldn't identify with the term “prostitute” because of their work in the “sex industry”.
For an example – we have one member who used to own two strip clubs in Las Vegas, Nevada. He
never worked as a prostitute, and never had sex with any of the patrons to his club. However, he has
had an extremely hard time adjusting to life after feeling so ashamed of how he was exploiting women,
and the way he was tolerating trafficking in and out of his club that he had received from a mobster
who had gone to prison and left the clubs to him – that he came to us for help in putting his life back
together and with wanting to be able to look himself in the eye again with pride. This man suffered
great financial setbacks by just shutting down his clubs the way he just did with no notice to anyone
beforehand – and it caused his business relationships to suffer a great deal which had been dependent
upon the strip clubs. This man met our “requirement for membership” in our program in that he had a
“desire to quit the sex industry and find recovery” - but he certainly wouldn't have identified with the
label of “prostitute”. So on behalf of a group vote from our members in 1995 – we changed our name
from Prostitutes Anonymous to Sex Workers Anonymous for some of the above reasons.
When we started this program – many things were different “then” from “today” besides just the
invention of the internet. This was the late 1980's – which meant that HIV/AIDS was just starting to
transfer from the gay to the heterosexual community because of the bisexual prostitutes, as well as
porn, and the group sex clubs that existed on both the east and west coasts at this time. This was also a
time when no one in the “system” was equipped to deal with the HIV/AIDS issue. The jails/prisons
didn't want to deal with a HIV infected transgender in custody who might be threatening to bite the
guards and/or other inmates.
Treatment centers were refusing to admit anyone that was a “known” prostitute out of the claim that
their facilities were not set up to “protect” the non-HIV infected clients from possible transmission of
the virus from living in a residential program with a prostitute who at that time was showing rates of
infection as high as 75 % depending on what study you were looking at. Domestic violence and
homeless shelters were refusing to give admittance to anyone that was a prostitute not just because of
the fear of HIV infection – but also because of the fact they were not equipped to deal with their pimps
coming around with guns to drag them back “home” with them.
We were receiving a tremendous amount of “cooperation” back then and for many years because of the
whole connection between prostitution and the spread and fear of HIV/AIDS at this time. In fact, we
couldn't get referrals added to calling us fast enough back then because many programs didn't want to
be dealing with the prostitutes back then for this reason. This is why we had hotline after directory
after program sending us regular referrals for many years while HIV/AIDS was a huge fear and
concern from many of these other agencies.
We weren't getting most of our referrals back then because of wanting to help the “trafficking” victims
because frankly back then no one even really believed trafficking existed. It took us years to convince
certain people that HIV/AIDS would spread from the gay community into the heterosexual community
through the transference of bisexual prostitutes – but once that message got across then we received all
kinds of assistance doing “outreach” to sex workers all over the United States. For years in most major
cities – there used to be RV's that would go out and pass out free condoms, clean needles, and lists of
hotlines the prostitutes could call for help with phone numbers on these lists such as ours for example.
I still have cities today that will go out and pass out as many cards and/or flyers as we can provide them
with. I had to stop sending them these after my stroke and I stopped working because I just didn't have
the money any more to pay for these things.
You have to realize that back in the 70's, 80's and even most of the 90's – no one in America really even
believed trafficking, i.e., the “forcing” of a man, woman and/or child into some form of sex work
whether that be porn, prostitution, stripping, etc. even existed. I know that because in 1987 when we
first opened our program there was only two victim/survivors speaking out in the media, lectures,
magazines, etc., about trafficking being real in America. That was Linda Lovelace and myself. That
was it – there was no one else on the scene who would speak out in public about being a trafficking
victim in a way anyone would believe wasn't being “made up”.
Linda Lovelace had to be believed because most of American at that time had seen her “Deep Throat”
which she was now going on TV to explain was filmed with her having a gun pointed at her head off
camera. I had just been the subject of an extremely high profile arrest where the international media
had nicknamed me “The High Tech Madam” in only 1984 because of a brothel I'd been running three
blocks from the Van Nuys Police Station. In order to be believed – we both refused to let any “movie
of the week” to be made about us, or to write any best-selling memoirs either. We knew if we did we'd
only be accused of making our stories up to “sell a book” or “get a movie made” - so we stuck to giving
interviews for magazines, doing talk shows, or even doing documentaries (of which I had four
documentaries made about my work back then).
It must have worked because now you have the whole face of American law enforcement changing in
front of our eyes to reflect the understanding that many who “appear” to be “prostitutes” are actually
victims of trafficking in reality. Some states have already changed their laws entirely so that anyone
who would have once been arrested and jailed as a prostitute – can now receive treatment as a victim
and even have past criminal records expunged if they can show that they were acting against their will.
A lot came out of the TV talk shows Linda and I used to do back then besides just American now
recognizing that trafficking is real and does affect domestic victims. Back in 1988, I was asked to do a
Sally Jesse Raphael show. At the time, Joe Conforte owned the Mustang Ranch in Nevada. He had
plans to expand his operation into California. To accomplish this – he started doing the talk show
circuits. Back then the FCC used to require that any show on any topic had to present “both” side of an
argument. So he couldn't appear without an opponent to discuss the idea of legalization prostitution.
On many of the shows he did – I'd come on to promote the phone number for Sex Workers Anonymous
actually and not to bash his idea about expanding the legalization into California. Since I was speaking
as a 12 Step representative – I would not speak “for” nor “against” legalization – but would only talk
about recovery being available and giving out our contact information at the end of the show like I had
learned to do from people who handled media in Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and
Sexaholics Anonymous that were mentoring me through the founding of our program.
At this one filming – Joe appeared with three women who worked at the brothel who came on the show
to talk about how wonderful life at the brothel was, how they loved being a prostitute, how safe it was
there, and how much money they made. I was on representing “recovery” and spoke only about how
one sometimes needing an ongoing program after leaving the sex industry where one would connect
with other survivors as we did in our program.
After the taping was over and I was heading back to my dressing room – one of these brothel
prostitutes came running up to me and started pleading with me to “save her”. She told me that Joe had
drugged her to force her onto the plane at gunpoint (they had been on a private plane he'd chartered),
and that more than one woman had disappeared at the ranch after a disagreement with Joe, and that he
had not only forced her to talk the way she had on that show, but that she was also in fear of her life if
she returned to the ranch with him.
The producer was open to helping us. She arranged for a “fake” ambulance to come and take her away
to the ER without letting Joe into the back with her. We then arranged to meet up with her down the
street where the ambulance had really taken her – to where her travel arrangements had been made for
me to get her into the only residential program that took prostitutes at this time. You had to realize that
in the year that we started our group, and the year this talk show was done, there were only three
programs in existence for prostitutes. Children of the Night was working with prostitutes under the age
of 18 years old. The Mary Magdalene Program was running a residential program that lasted a year.
Then our group existed for everyone else in the whole USA that was over 18 and needed an
As I flew back to California with this woman – word had also spread about her “escape” back to the
brothel from having talked to me after the show. I don't know how long any of you have been in
Nevada, or if maybe you've ever followed the history of Joe Conforte and the Mustang Ranch, or
maybe even seen the movie made about him with Joe Pesci and Helen Mirren – but you have to take
into context that Joe murdered a famous boxer right on the ranch property in cold blood and he was
unarmed. Many say he got away with it because of his police, and judicial connections. But whatever
the reasons – he did shoot an unarmed man in a domestic dispute caused by a jealous rage over the
boxer running off with his wife and he served no prison time for this murder. One can only imagine
how scared this would make a prostitute of the man – especially knowing how the police in general at
that time were notorious for not even investigating cases of a missing prostitute very thoroughly.
What happened after this initial “escape” of this woman after the talk show – was that other women
started calling me and asking for help to get out of the brothel physically. Then after everything they'd
gone through at the brothel – they needed ongoing support that would also not reveal their location to
anyone out of fear they'd be drug back to the Mustang by Joe or one of his “friends”. Which is all the
more reason why the vast majority of our members do maintain their “anonymity at the level of press,
radio and films”. Many of them are hiding out from traffickers who are still looking for them today.
Joe is down in Brazil now everyone knows. But what many might not realize is that he is still running
prostitutes down in Brazil since he left the USA.
He's been out of the country for a long time – but this doesn't mean his “reach” and “influence” isn't
still affecting people today. Kemp Schiffer, who was initially introduced to Joe and the ranch when he
was an IRS agent taking over the operation on behalf of our government for unpaid back taxes, was
turned into a trafficker himself who “ran” girls into the ranch and other trafficking operations back and
forth between Nevada and California from approximately 1991 clear up until 2011. He even left being
an IRS agent under the accusations of being a trafficker – but no one was able to do anything to stop
him until another operation exposed him less than two years ago. This meant he was using his badge to
traffic women back and forth from Nevada and California for almost 20 YEARS before anyone was
able to put a stop to this man. Kemp didn't act alone either – he was trafficking the women to and from
someone else. It was through investigating an internet escort service that the tapes of him came to light
and he was finally arrested.
It is “well known” within the sex industry itself that there is a trafficking network that operates between
California and Nevada. A trafficking network that involves not only the legal brothels, but also the
illegal escort services, massage parlors, strip clubs, etc., that run women back and forth from the
northern end of Nevada around Reno and Carson City, into not only Eureka where Kemp was
discovered having trafficked a girl using his IRS badge – but also throughout northern California with
others who appear to be quite “respectable” and also connected with “law enforcement” itself to protect
It recently came to light about Chris Butler. He had been running a private investigative agency that
was even featured on Dr. Phil as being considered “state of the art” and which even utilized “soccer
moms” as private investigators by day. While at night, Chris was using his agency and connections
with law enforcement to traffic women in prostitution through escort services and massage parlors.
Contrary to what most people are revealing about traffickers – the most dangerous and the most
“organized” of them are not pimps driving Cadillacs and sitting in their cars listening to hip hop while
they watch “their bitches” on the corner. The most organized and dangerous traffickers are very
mulch-layered criminals. They run prostitutes, as well as guns, drugs, stolen black market human
organs and I've even witnessed them stealing and reselling expensive luxury automotive and
commercial truck parts which with the computerized pieces can be quite expensive items.
Chris Butler was obtaining drugs from the evidence department from a police officer friend, Norman
Wielsch, he'd known since he was a drug officer back in the 90's with. He was also using another
officer, Louis Lombari, to execute false search warrants who was also working as a drug officer, and
through CNET at the time. They were all using their badges and ability to intimidate prostitutes not
just through their massage parlor operation either – as they would routinely just “shake down”
prostitutes and madams they'd find on the internet for thousands of dollars in some cases. They were
all doing this while waving Contra Costa police badges with one hand and appearing on TV as “the
good guys” and Norman Wielsch was receiving top honors for executing some of the largest drug busts
in the state.
For years there's been another network of traffickers that runs in and out of Las Vegas like it's their
version of Grand Central Station. Vegas has the highest number of prostitutes being arrested under the
ages of 18 than anywhere in the nation. One of the reasons for this is because traffickers make a
routine stop in Vegas as they keep the victims moving every week from city to city because they've
been forced off of the internet by people thinking they're going to be putting a stop to prostitution and
trafficking by shutting them off of the internet. Other traffickers come up from Los Angeles to Vegas
every weekend to work their girls – especially when there are conventions and special events in town
they think will drive in extra business for their prostitutes.
One trafficking ring used to have an ex-corrections officer as the madam of the house. She'd find
recruits to work for her through other officers still working within the jails here in Vegas. These
officers would identify who was not only coming out as a prostitute – but also who would be on
probation that they could intimidate into working for them at cut rates. As the clients would drive up to
the house – a “valet” would park the car across the street at a shopping center so that no one would
notice all the cars parked in front of her home. At the shopping center – there would be a mechanic
would would take out all these Mercedes and BMW car parts and replace them with cheap counterfeits
they'd arrange to have stolen from another friend who worked at a local auto parts store. Through this
ex-corrections officer's connections with law enforcement, marshals, sheriff's, etc. - they would use
these officers cars to transport the guns, drugs, stolen car parts, and women they were trafficking so
that the cars would never be stopped, or the contents questioned. If anyone asked about the women –
they were “criminals in custody”. No one asked to see papers – or to search the trunk of a marshal's car
either coming across from state to state.
Why am I telling you about these things? For one thing, I'm trying to help you to understand why
many trafficking victims might be reluctant to simply call 911 or speak to a local police officer about
needing help. While the officer they're speaking to could be a very good cop – that doesn't mean they'd
make it out of the police station without one of the “bad” cops hearing about it. We have news clips of
another story that's been in the media of a cop who got involved with a prostitute he'd arrested. When
she tried to report his forcing her to give him her prostitution earnings when she'd wanted to quit –
news of her being at the station making the police report reached him before she even left the building.
As for the Salvation Army “safe house” for prostitutes – many local traffickers will actually drive the
women right up to the front of that location and point out that they know this is right where they're
doing if they try and run. They point out there's no security outside the building – which means the
minute they try and simply walk down the street to go and get a soda or come out of the building – they
could be “waiting for them”.
They also have a habit of when one victim runs – they'll send another victim “on the run” shortly after.
This way they wind up where the first victim is. They then issue a threat. The victim gets scared and
comes back because where is there left to go if you can't go to the police for help? Many victims
believe this is the situation – and for that reason they don't feel safe coming forward for help with the
local authorities or by using the Salvation Army shelter. Neither are they likely to want to go to the
shelter when they're living in nice houses and condos with these traffickers. Gilded cages they be – but
they're still nicer than the shelter in some of these victims' minds who haven't seen how horrible things
can be yet while they're “new” to the “game”.
I'm also trying to help you to understand why I felt I had no choice but to relocate here from California
to Nevada in 1996. The calls I was receiving from women who were coming out of situations like this
where they felt they could not safely call for help through the local police had reached so many in
number – that I couldn't keep coming up from Los Angeles to Nevada every week like the point it had
reached by then because of the calls I was receiving from not only the brothels after we rescued this
one victim – but also from the local escort services where many escorts and even madams have been
coming up missing and the police won't even look for them.
It's not just a case of not looking for them either. When I received word from one of the other women
Peter Todd, the pimp in the Jessie Foster case, was telling me about him – I tried contacting the task
force with a copy of the email I'd received from this woman telling me about the case and what she'd
seen Peter Todd do. Not only did they refuse to accept the email from me so they could investigate the
case – I couldn't even get the officer to call me back when the call came into my phone about another
woman in fear of her life from Peter Todd. If they're not even calling back their own hotline numbers
when you're calling about a case about a missing prostitute – how safe do you think the prostitutes are
going to feel about coming forward to local police for help with leaving a trafficker?
Up until recently, there was no shelter for trafficking victims anywhere. While there is one now in Las
Vegas through the Salvation Army – this isn't going to help a woman who is coming out of a trafficking
situation in Reno, Carson City, Pahrump, or even Nye County where some of the brothels are that the
victims know about anyway. If someone finds themselves on the streets of Reno at 2:00 a.m. - they
need help to reach the shelter in Vegas. Nor does the existing shelter at the Salvation Army in Vegas
offer help to each and every victim of trafficking.
For one thing – there are male victims. For another, there may be gay, bisexual and/or transgender
victims. Besides gender and sexuality issues – there's the issue of religion. More than one victim of
trafficking has called me from the Salvation Army shelter where they've been put out on the street with
no referrals because of them discovering this person was gay, because they were Jewish, Buddhist, etc.
Not to mention the 22 Chinese women who weren't only not allowed to stay at the Salvation Army
shelter during the “Operation Dollhouse” arrest back in 2007 – but were actually released back directly
to their suspected traffickers with no referrals being made to them, nor follow-ups being done to see
how they were treated once they'd been returned to the very same men the very same day as the arrests.
I've actually been doing quite well at getting calls from the victims of trafficking up until a few years
ago. Through “informants” and also people who were in positions to make contact with many of the
trafficking victims in Nevada – I've been receiving phone calls from people needing help not just in
Nevada – but also clear across the USA and into other countries. This is why Sex Workers Anonymous
now has meetings all over the USA, into Canada, and in 10 other countries right now besides the USA.
This is why when Melissa Farley, PhD, has received a request to do a report on sex trafficking in
Nevada in 2007 and she found herself unable to reach any victims here to talk to her – she came to me
for help with getting the interviews done. Through our network of survivors, and our connections
within the brothels themselves, Melissa Farley was able to not only get this first ever ground breaking
report done on trafficking specifically in Nevada – but she did so at great risk to herself as when she
entered one of these brothels she had a gun pulled on her and an armed guard following her around the
whole time she was being shown the grounds and allowed to “talk” to the women there.
When Melissa turned this report into her book “Trafficking in Nevada” she was pretty shocked at what
she found going on here. Studies in other countries have shown a direct connection between the
increase in trafficking and the legal brothels. Through doing this report – she was able to outline and
diagram what the connections where that actually did make for trafficking to be at an apex point here in
Nevada directly because of the legal brothels that exist nowhere in the USA but here in Nevada.
So shocked she came to me and asked me if she could use this report to help fund our work. She said
she wanted to form NCAST – Nevada Coalition Against Sex Trafficking. Melissa explained how we
could do so much more than simply offer recovery services to the victims after their escape and
“retirement” as we were doing through Sex Workers Anonymous if I joined her, and Candace Johnson,
to form this coalition. Her and Candace told me how we could raise money to where we could offer
treatment to all prostitutes, instead of them being arrested – if we could change the legislation, and run
a program that would accomplish these goals. The plan was for Candace to be the director of the
program because of her father's connections within the faith based communities. Melissa said she was
going to help organize the changes to the laws of Nevada – while I was going to be supposedly put in
charge of providing direct “rescue and restore” services to the victims.
In order to get NCAST started – she said we had to first announce the findings of this report in the
national media. The Review Journal had told me previously they wouldn't run any stories on
trafficking, or what our trafficking work was all about because they (1) didn't want to risk losing the ad
dollars that the brothels and that the sex related industries are spending with them every day, and (2)
the publisher was friends with Oscar Goodman who had stated in the news media before that his intent
was to “open magnificent brothels in downtown Las Vegas”. The same Oscar Goodman who had
previously directly interfered with a grant I was supposed to receive one year to open a “drop-in crisis
center” in Vegas for prostitutes that he said “hell would freeze over” before he'd let that happen because
he wasn't going to let anything interfere with “his plans” to bring the brothel tax dollars into Vegas. So
clearly to get the word out about this report – we had to schedule an international press conference.
Because she said that many would say these interviews had been “fabricated” because the brothel
owners would not let her video or audiotape the interviews with the women inside them – she asked me
to convince women who had been trafficked “inside” legal Nevada brothels to come forward to back up
their statements/accusations in this report at the press conference, at UNLV, and at some local fundraising
events she'd organized. At no time during any of our conversations with each other I need to
add here had Melissa told me that NCAST was going to be pushing for “abolition” of prostitution, in
other words to shut down the legal brothels.
I never heard the word “abolition” until the news cameras were rolling and Melissa was actually out of
my ear shot. I didn't even know she had been calling to “outlaw the brothels” and for “abolition” of the
brothels in Nevada until the day after the press conference when I was reading the reports and watching
the videos of the news later on. Because I did not agree to call for the “shutting down of the brothels”
in any of our discussions – to say I was upset when I found out she'd been saying this whole panel was
calling for “abolition” to the reporters while I was out of ear range of her and Candice would be an
understatement. This hadn't even come up when she'd had me talking to various possible donors and
investors in a “safe house” and “program” we could put together in Nevada the day before the press
conference was held.
When I found out that she had put a “bulls eye” on my backside during this press conference by saying
that I was to be on the board of NCAST which was setting about to outlaw the local brothels – I was
besides myself. I told her I had not agreed to the kind of backlash I was going to receive from making
a statement such as this – and I had never agreed to even make this kind of statement during any of our
arrangements about the whole formation of NCAST or the press conference rehearsals.
The backlash was immediate. Lance Malone at the time was on the board of directors for the power
company of Nevada at this time. Lance Malone who now owns the Mustang Ranch brothel I need to
add. Within hours of this press conference – my power had been cut off with no warning. When I
called to see what was wrong – I found they had attached my dead grandmother's past electric bill on
mine and were demanding $2,000 in back interest and balance from me before they'd cut my service
back on. They refused to give me an inch. The then Assemblyman Bob Beers had assured me he
would “have my back” for the backlash I'd receive from giving this press conference – so I called him.
He made one call and I had my power back on in two hours. Now I don't know who he called or what
was said – all I know is he made the call and the problem was resolved.
I had my telephone and cable lines literally ripped out of the walls to my condo. My cable company
reported that I had called to cancel my own services supposedly. My bank closed my account claiming
a police officer had called and said I was “a victim of ID theft” and forced me to go down and verify
who I was before they'd release my own money back to me. My landlord was told by some mysterious
party that if I wasn't evicted “immediately” that they'd have some legal problems of their own to deal
with. My HOA started receiving calls about my dogs barking all night long – which was not happening
in reality and never happened before the day of the press conference. I had the police show up at my
door demanding to speak to me and my daughter claiming someone had told them I was “threatening to
kill myself and my daughter” by some anonymous caller. Funny thing was – even Melissa didn't know
where I was living at the time. So how any one could have found my residence at that time could only
have been done through a search of my legal records which I had not made public to anyone.
To top things off – I lived in a gated community with a security guard at the gate who was not supposed
to let anyone in without verifying this with a tenant as well as footed security around the grounds. I
came out of my house the next day after the press conference to find that my car's tires had been
completely slashed, and all of the windows had been smashed out. Then someone had gone into my
car's engine and completely trashed my engine. When I went to file an insurance claim for vandalism –
my insurance company had claimed that I had supposedly “canceled my coverage” the day before the
car was demolished. Without a way to prove I hadn't made that call – I was now without a car or
money to replace the car either.
I issued a press statement that I was not affiliated with Melissa Farley any longer – and that I had not
agreed to the statements about calling for “abolition” of the legal brothels in Nevada. This is when I
announced that I was going to do the work I'd said I was going to be doing – but instead of it being
through NCAST – it was going to be now through Trafficking & Prostitution Services instead.
Trafficking exists all over the country and the world where there are not Nevada brothels. Closing
them down isn't going to stop trafficking – anymore than pushing traffickers off of Craigslist is going to
stop trafficking either.
I then heard back through volunteers that Melissa Farley had received checks for over $180,000 in
donations from people who thought they were funding the work that I had been doing, and the program
I had wanted to establish in Nevada where we would offer regular therapy, and transitional housing for
those coming out of trafficking. When I asked for the money that was meant for our provision of direct
services that the donors wrote the checks for me to receive – I was refused. When I went and located
the donors and asked for them to stop payments on the checks they're written Melissa and to re-issue
them to me – these poor people had no idea what was going on. The checks had already been cashed
and they told me the only way to have the money returned would have been to sue Melissa outright.
No one wants to file a lawsuit over money meant for a trafficking program – so that just ended
everything right there for that.
Until a few months later. There was a nonprofit that took my chapters out of the report, took my name
off of the report, and then basically replaced their name with Melissa Farley's name. They then reissued
this report in such a manner as to make the report look like they'd written this report – and
issued national press releases about “their” findings with trafficking in Nevada. Wondering about how
they accomplished this report knowing how much trouble Melissa had doing it without my help and I'd
never spoken to these people, nor had any of our membership spoken to them either – I contacted some
of the people who had been quoted in the interview such as Lois Lee from Children of the Night.
Everyone reported to me they had never spoken to this nonprofit group at all.
Before I could do anything about this clear plagiarism – my daughter was struck by a SUV in broad
daylight as she crossed the street in the crosswalk. Her back was broken in three places – and she was
put into a body cast where she had to be taken care of 24/7. The doctors said she had to be as
“immobile” as possible if her back was to heal properly – so I was caring for her around the clock
during this time. This meant while this nonprofit went around from church to church presenting “their'
findings and getting nice fat checks written to them to do something about “trafficking in Nevada” - I
was unable to do anything to put a stop to it.
When I heard they had cleared about $1,200,000 in donations in Nevada to help Nevada victims – I
then contacted them about a case I had just received. A woman had just left her pimp and was in fear
of her life. To get away from him – she had just stabbed him in the leg. She knew if he found her she'd
be hurt badly because of how he's hurt other prostitutes. This girl was only 16 years old – so I knew I
could get her to Children of the Night for safety. My only problem was transportation to get her to the
airport. My car had just been demolished and my daughter was now in a body cast. I was still on SSI
from a stroke I'd suffered and therefore had no money. So I contacted this nonprofit and asked them for
cab fare to help me get this young girl to the airport where Children of the Night would then fly her out
there for safety and treatment.
That's when they told me that they “did not provide direct services to victims” and basically hung up
the phone on me. Calling around town looking for someone who would be willing to take us to the
airport – I encountered something I'd never heard nor had to deal with before. Whereas in the past I
could usually pick up the phone and call up a local church, temple, synagogue, etc. and explain the
situation to them and ask for help with something and get it – now I was suddenly met with a very
I was now being told that unless this girl or myself were a member of either this specific church, or
another specific church – and/or unless this girl and/or myself would agree to commit to this or that
specific church – we would not receive any assistance. What this had to do with driving a young girl to
the airport to receive safety and care with a program that had been around since 1987 like myself – I
had no idea. Especially since frankly none of these churches had even existed in 1996 when I moved to
Nevada to start working more directly with local Nevada victims of trafficking. Nor had any of these
other churches existed much before now either.
I also noticed some very very strange things happening now that had never happened to me before. I've
had a wonderful working relationship with many jails, prisons, probation and parole officers, social
workers, shelters, etc., in the past in other states before. For example, when Mayor Bradley asked me
to put together the first ever alternative sentencing program for prostitutes in Los Angeles in history –
we had no problem with these offices gladly giving referrals to our Sex Workers Anonymous programs
before. We had Sex Workers Anonymous meetings going in the jails, treatment programs, the gay and
lesbian drop-in centers, and were constantly getting referrals from judges, probation officers, parole
officers, social workers, etc. for their clients to attend SWA meetings as part of their treatment,
probation, and/or release treatment plan.
The same was the case when I was asked to do the same for Allentown, Pennsylvania. I was asked to
help design and run an alternative sentencing program for prostitutes up there because Allentown was
serving as a mid-way point for men and traffickers coming in from NJ, and NY, and PA all in one town
that only had one police officer and one small jail. They relocated me up there to become part of the
Lehigh County Program for Female Offenders where we had a SWA meeting in the men and womens'
jail, and in the residential house they had for the women to stay in while they were undergoing
counseling, job training, parenting classes, etc.
When we gave the press conference about trafficking in Nevada here in 2007 – I was swamped by
probation officers for both adult and child prostitutes asking me for help with the cases. The officers
for the children prostitutes said there were so many cases – they asked me if they gave me a vacant
office they had would I please agree to come down and work with the kids five days a week. They had
no budget – but our program is a 12 step free program. Being out of work at the time – I saw no
problem with coming down for a few hours a day and I agreed to come help out.
Then suddenly the “wall of silence” went up. No one was returning my calls. When I tried to find out
why one minute every one was “hot” about me coming down to help out and then the next no one
would return my calls – I managed to get one of the probation officers to meet with me “off the record”
and tell me what was going on.
Despite the fear of losing their job over it – one officer did agree to meet with me to tell me what the
problem one. For one thing, when this report on Trafficking in Nevada was released at this press
conference, our then Mayor Oscar Goodman was there. He waved the report around and told every
Metro officer there that if “anyone read this report or even spoke to Melissa Farley or Jody Williams
they would be fired immediately”. He said this in front of Ed Lawence, a reporter. Who when he
reported this statement to the press was suddenly now a “freelance” reporter. I don't know if there's a
connection there – but it was interesting timing.
The mayor then had found out about me offering to help out with the child prostitutes and had
supposedly issued the same threat. When I asked this officer what the problem was about – I was told
that they felt it was because they were hearing the kids talk about one after the other after the other case
after case of being abused sexually by police officers, other probation officers, social workers, etc.
This person's feeling was that they were concerned if an “outside” agency that was not financially
dependent upon the system were to start being able to coordinate cases, names, dates, etc. - that there
would soon be charges being filed against these people.
Not unlike what happened recently down in San Bernardino, California. There a counselor was
arrested for trafficking not just one 15 year old female – but they suspect he was trafficking others with
other counselors and social workers also. Since many of these victims report to me being trafficked
and abused sexually by not just the police, but also by people such as social workers, counselors, and
even probation officers – I could see why they might not want an outside agency having access to
hearing the stories from these kids about what's going on here. Especially an agency that they can't
threaten to cut off their funding, or take away their license to operate even. Because Sex Workers
Anonymous is a worldwide group that is not an “official” business anymore than Alcoholics
Anonymous is – there is no way to threaten to shut us down or cut off our funding if one were trying to
control us or stop us from making any reports to the media or to the Attorney General for that matter.
Which is one reason why I respect the National Trafficking Hotline. They're an outside agency where
if a victim were to report having a problem here in Nevada – this hotline would not only not refuse to
offer them any assistance they needed to escape trafficking – but they would also follow-up on any
complaints of misconduct by anyone in law enforcement, the judge's chambers, DEA, IRS, or any
counselors or social workers I'm sure.
But I have to interject here that while the National Trafficking Hotline does a fantastic job at what they
do – there are some very serious limitations in some respects to what they do as well. For one thing –
they offer assistance to someone who is escaping a trafficking situation to get from being trafficked to
being in a safe position somewhere. What they do not offer is a proven, successful, program of
recovery for all victims whether they be male or female, gay or straight, transgender, etc.
Yes they do give referrals to trafficking victims of therapists and treatment centers. However, I've been
asked by many of these same treatment centers and therapists to put together a continuing education
and a certification program for them on how we're providing treatment and recovery to our membership
over the years because of our success working with this community. They've been coming to me lately
admitting that they're not only having trouble knowing how to provide the needed services to this
community – but in some cases they don't even know how to communicate with these victims
“properly” in such a manner as they're even heard. So I'm currently working on a training program
that's been requested by the DOJ, the BOJ, therapists and social workers from one end of the USA to
the other, and even by the Center for Missing & Exploited Children on behalf of their network of
therapists who are working with the child trafficking victims that I'm currently working on producing
right now with professors to make it “approved” for continuing educational units. I've even been asked
to speak at the national Addictions Conference in Anaheim, California this year as well as other related
conferences and trainings over the next year. I could go on about what I've been asked to teach, speak
or, or submit articles to this year with respect to training others with what I know about working with
this community – but then this letter would be twice as long than it is already!
There's another matter of the fact that human trafficking, sex trafficking and even domestic violence
and rape victims find help in different ways. As part of my training to be of as much use to our
membership as possible – I've received training to staff hotlines and do intake for places such as the
rape hotlines, the domestic violence shelters, the suicide hotlines, even counseling people who have
just received word they are HIV/AIDS positive at some of the testing centers. I've also done the
“reverse” training at many of these hotlines and shelters where I've helped many of them in other states
understand how to help say a prostitute who is calling in to report a rape or that she's a victim of
A victim of human trafficking where they're being forced to say work as a maid without being paid, or
a rape or domestic violence victim often is allowed to keep a telephone book. They're allowed to watch
TV, and talk to people, and even write down phone numbers. Most of them are allowed near
telephones even. Sadly, many sex trafficking victims are not allowed to keep phone books, are not
allowed to write down and keep phone numbers for future reference and usually are not allowed alone
with a phone where they might be able to call a hotline for help. While other “outsider” who might see
sex trafficking going on from the outside might be able to find and call the national trafficking hotline –
most victims of “real” sex trafficking are not allowed to either obtain, nor keep, and certainly not call
on a phone for help through such a hotline.
Which is why for most of the years that I've been here in Nevada specifically so I can be close enough
to be of service to these victims here in Nevada who need the physical help as well as continuing to
offer our membership services to our members across the world – I've usually been able to rely on
getting calls from the victims either from themselves when they've needed help and someone told them
about us – or I've been able to have someone else call us and tell us about a victim needing help. Many
of these sources took years to build up and trust us as not being connected with law enforcement in any
way – or many of these calls would not be coming in to our program for help in the first place.
But there's a problem going on right now that I've never encountered before. It's almost like a
“pimping” of the prostitutes happening – but this time it's being done by people who are looking to use
the condition of these trafficking victims to make some money and/or gain some power.
I'm watching as people who know good and well there are services available for these prostitutes – not
just from Sex Workers Anonymous for adults, but also through Children of the Night for the child
victims – who will get up in front of large groups of people, the press, and even politicians and they
will insist emphatically that “no services exist” for these trafficking victims when in fact there are
services. There are services that they are denying exist – because they want to raise $2,000,000 to
“build a safe house” or they want to raise money for this program or that program. I've watched one
judge repeatedly get up and insist he needs millions of dollars for his court room full of teen prostitutes
because “nothing exists for them” which is a complete and utter falsehood obviously to try and raise
money. For one thing, Children of the Night at any given time has sometimes 2/3 of her clients being
from Nevada. A service for which she is rarely paid from what she's reported to me.
For another – I've written out a complete, and utterly free, “outpatient” program we could offer not
only the young females in this judge's courtroom – but also their parents as we have a parents group
available – and also that we could offer the males that don't even go through his court room. This
program was put together with a list of therapists who offered these kids free therapy through this
program I wrote out, it offered sponsorship through the local AA and NA groups, and of course offered
these girls two meetings a week of SWA as well as a list of sponsors we had available who all had more
than five years in recovery that would have been excellent sponsors for these young girls. I then
watched as this judge refused to even speak to me about this offer of assistance to all of the girls
coming through this courtroom – while a week later he gave a fund raising speech for a residential
program he wanted to build that would only have housed 14 girls. He sees more than that many girls a
day in his court room – so how this would help all of the prostitutes was beyond my understanding.
But it clearly wasn't about giving them help – it was obviously about raising money for a “safe house”.
I've even see totally “fake” news releases about programs opening up that don't even exist as part of
some of these people trying to raise money. In January of 2012, I read a news report about a “safe
house” opening up for adult female trafficking victims in Las Vegas. I had just received a call from a
woman who had just left her pimp of 10 years and needing shelter until I could get her into another
program I knew of that worked with prostitutes out of state – so I contacted this group to see about
placing this woman there. Only I find out the whole report was false and that there was no house and
nothing had opened. Within days, the website was down, the phones were disconnected, the emails
were coming back – and when I finally was able to track someone down about what happened – I was
told that the house had only been “reported” as being opened in order to “raise money” to get the house
“opened”. When I asked who was being wanting this house opened in Nevada – I've never even heard
of these people before and certainly knew they didn't have any experience working with trafficking
victims in Nevada before – or anywhere for that matter. When I asked what happened to the money
people donated to this house if it didn't even open – they then stopped speaking to me.
I've even seen a legal brothel owner jumping on this “trafficking” bandwagon! One of these men gave
a press release a few years ago about how he was opening up a program to “fight trafficking” and get
“illegal prostitutes” off the streets. If he wanted to accomplish this goal – I was willing to work with
him and see what we could accomplish together. So I contacted him only to find out from his press
agent that the whole thing was basically because he was trying to put on a “good front” for a vote that
had been going up to the local city counsel the next week and that he had no intention of doing
anything he said he was going to do in that press release. That's why I said if it's not about money with
some of these people – then it's about power.
That sounds no different than another brothel owner here in Nevada that has told me he won't donate
any money to help us help trafficking victims to escape the state because he'd rather I take them up to
his place for shelter where he can “get a good look at them” and see if they could “come to work for
him”. I pointed out to him that most victims we get calls from probably couldn't qualify for one of the
local brothel licenses and that this would be a waste of his time and ours – but he countered with how
he knew how to “get around” the licensing requirements for “new girls”. He knows good and well that
the women leaving his brothel either return back to him because they “can't make it on their own” as
we just saw recently with Air Force Amy returning to him with her tail between her legs as announced
on their site – or they wind up in horrible situations because they're not able to find exiting help such as
with Brooke's horrible death while she was even pregnant because she hadn't received any support from
a program like ours when she left. Yet they still continue to refuse to provide these with with our
contact number when they leave as a rule – because they don't want them to succeeed in leaving.
Up unti l995 – all states and TV stations, newspapers, magazines and radio stations were required to
run public service announcements for free in order to keep their operating license. What this meant
was that we used to be able to get free advertising late at night – which is exactly when most people
would want to get our phone number anyway.
After 1995 – the FCC lifted this requirement and now we're required to pay for all advertising. I can't
go on talk shows anymore to let people know about our program because I have a daughter now and a
family who have requested me not to be a “public figure” so that they can live in peace in this state
without worrying about any backlash, threats, harassment, or embarrassment. Based on what happened
to me in the 2007 press conference – I'm not about to go back on TV any time soon.
There is a way however to do something to help these victims find help by someone who is trying to
offer them help through an established, proven and effective program where I have clipping after
clipping of members talking about how we've helped them over the years as well as many of them who
are talking about their recovery through a radio program we've been producing lately which you can
can find at www.traffickingandprostitutionservices.org
Nevada is full of sex related businesses where trafficking victims often start out at, wind up coming
through, or work at in some fashion at some point where they might find they are in trouble and they
need help. The whole state is full of strip clubs, massage parlors, adult stores, and even legal brothels.
Most of these businesses require that the employees get a license of some kind to work in these
I'm in the process of producing an educational video that I've been asked to produce for a couple of
their states at this very moment. This same video could be used here in Nevada. The video could be
played for anyone applying for a license in one of these sex related, or even sexual, businesses where
trafficking might be seen, or experienced. It would explain what trafficking is, and also what can be
offered them in the way of exit and restoration services should they find they have a problem.
They could then be given a list of phone numbers and/or websites. I'd like to propose that Sex Workers
Anonymous be among one of those offered. Children of the Night should be offered because while
many of these companies say they do not hire minors – often they do hear or see minors who are being
trafficked that they could report if they knew who to call. Children of the Night runs a very respectable
and established hotline that is the “gold standard” of trafficking hotlines for minors. The National
Trafficking Hotline is another one.
Since these people often don't keep these phone numbers – they should be asked to memorize these
groups' names so they can call 411 at any time in the future and locate them for help. Then a short test
can be given where they're to repeat back the names of these hotlines so that we are sure they know
how to find them for help if the time comes that they do. They might not keep the numbers – but if
they know them by “heart” they can find us when they need us by process of taking this test.
A small nominal fee could be paid for these licensee applicants. This fee could cover the
administration of this workshop and test. If you listen to our Reno survivor's story on the radio show –
you'll know that the question about “are you being forced” on their application is a joke. It's like
asking at the airport “are you now carrying a bomb”? It's ridiculous.
For years and years the brothel owners have been pushing to pay a sales tax. I propose that the brothel
owners pay a percentage of what they make to go into a fund to help people exit out of sex work
entirely. Because here's what's happening to the state's budget right now as we speak. When a woman
is done working at the brothel – they need “exit” services. They need treatment for one thing. They
usually can't get a “normal” job for a long time after leaving the brothels. Which means they will either
continue to work as an illegal prostitute – they will go into drugs like the famous case of Brooke
Phillips who got involved in guns and drugs and wound up murdered just months after leaving one of
the brothels in Nevada, or they will simply go on SSI and/or welfare to live off the state until they can
find another type of work to go into. So right now – when a woman leaves the brothel – these exit
costs are falling onto the state already.
They say if you expand the brothels and allow them to pay taxes that Nevada wins. That's not true
because for every sales dollars you'd receive from another woman working for them – you'd have three
times as much money cost to this system through things like ER visits, domestic violence, drug
addiction, SSI, criminal behavior, foster care for their children when they're incarcerated, CPS services,
social services and 1,000 other things these women cost the state once the brothels are done with them
and then they leave – to go where? Right here where then the state has to deal with the burned out
leftovers who aren't good for anything at that point – without proper intervention and treatment.
Things that they aren't paying into for either.
Not just the costs of SSI and/or welfare, and maybe free mental health services either. But since many
continue on with some kind of illegal activity after leaving them whether that be illegal prostitution or
illegal drug activities – then they find themselves arrested. Many of these arrests cost the taxpayers
money – but also if they have children who go into foster care of some kind that also costs the system
even more money.
For example, Heidi Fleiss has gone on to have more than one drug arrest since her arrest in California
for being a madam. Yes she was a madam in California – but my point about how these people go on
after sex work to engage in other criminal activities – and cost the state of Nevada even more taxpayer
money because they haven't had a proper exit program set up for them is still true in this case. Her
probation officer in Pahrump did not order her to go to Sex Workers Anonymous meetings when she
was arrested – so she has gone on to fail her drug treatment at Celebrity Rehab, announce that she's
getting ready to open an “Alien Brothel” with Dennis, while she probably scams more investors like
she did over her “stud ranch” investment scheme, she's had countless arrests for fraud, drug problems,
and she's engaging in criminal behavior right now as we speak – all at a cost to the taxpayers which
could have possibly been avoided if she'd simply been referrred to our program by her PO.
I've recorded one interview from a woman who tells you how coming out of the legal brothels on our
radio show “Stop Sex Traffick Talk” she became a burden on the taxpayers money by not receiving any
proper help for coming out of sex work and being a trafficking victim that she could have received if
she'd been given a number to call which would have referred her to the proper help at the time she
obtained her license to work as a prostitute in the brothel. She wound up being arrested, having to go
through the Mental House Court, and also cost the taxpayers money because of having a daughter
while this was going on.
I've contacted the mental health court who admits that most of their clients are coming out of
prostitution. Yet when I've offered them free training in how to help this community, and to give the