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Addiction and Prostitution in Hawaii

The Experience of being arrested for street prostitution


Here is how it felt to be targeted by undercover Honolulu police in a sting to catch street prostitutes.


People underestimate the traumatic effect of the whole criminal justice experience. I was the target in a Honolulu street prostitution sting years ago. A sting is where cops go undercover and act as participants in a scene to draw in actual participants and get people who do not see a trap to say or do something illegal so they can be arrested. There are no entrapment laws in Hawaii that would prevent cops from creating a situation that was there at that precise place and time BC the cops brought it. The guy driving the car that had pulled over for me asked “a hundred for everything ok?” The driver had brought the car to a stop along the side of a quiet road. As soon as I said “yes” there was a tap on my passenger’s side window. A large figure clad in all black, including a black ski mask like a horror movie villain filled my view. He was very polite. “Please step out of the car ma’am. You are being arrested for solicitation.” He opened the door for me and I got out feeling like I was in a dream. The car immediately sped off. Seemingly out of nowhere there was a van and like, 17 people, all ski masked, wearing all black including boots and gloves as if they were not in Honolulu , Hawaii. I don’t remember how I ended up in the back of an empty van with two guys in disguise. Both were jovial and eager to ask me questions as if they were young and new and ready to learn, which they probably were. “So what’s it like out here, how long have you been out here, do you always jump in cars with strangers, do you know what day it is?” Each was anxious for the other guy to shut up so he could ask his question. There was nothing about a right to remain silent. They were not collecting evidence but anecdotes fir stories to tell their friends. There was no need for evidence. I was from the street I would get a public defender, I would be guilty. I see now a real attorney could have gotten the whole thing tossed on the vagueness of the question BC “everything” is not a specific sex act like the law requires, but if I could have afforded an attorney I probably would not have been out there. So I was snatched from my life by masked strangers who suddenly appeared and always had the use of force at their disposal. After being kidnapped and during transport, I was subjected to shaming and ridicule as I was held out as an object of amusement. There was no way to know how and when the ordeal would end. For me it would end 20 months later. You realize you have created your own problems just like most people with problems but as one of the lowest people in society you are ineligible for sympathy or kindness–even from yourself. It would be helpful to recognize how injurious this process is and it is worth noting that the cops choose which of the twenty or so women on the street to target. Would not be surprising if some people based upon color were chosen while others were fresh to go. Still, I was out there and arguing that others got a fresh pass dies nothing for me. That was a truly terrible time.

By Harvard elite Homeless in HI🏝

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