|Lawrence Crovetti, charged with|
promoting prostitution—the only man
to face sex charges in the case.
John Murray, 56, of Deptford, the club's financial secretary, and Alfred Sanborn, 44, of South Philadelphia, its steward, were arrested on liquor violation charges. The two acted as bartenders during the parties, and the clubhouse did not have a liquor license, police said.The main targets were the females? Why? If the police are correct, Tuesday night's Mummer's prostitution party was a monthly event. They went to the trouble of getting an undercover officer invited into the club. They couldn't take the time to develop a case against the people who were facilitating the prostitution parties, or taking advantage of the services?
Murray and Sanborn were aware of the prostitution, said Deputy Police Commissioner William Blackburn, but police did not have enough evidence to charge them with prostitution-related offenses. The dozens of men seen interacting with the women were not arrested, either.
"We weren't privy to the conversations between the males and the females, where there was a price and a particular act that was identified," Blackburn said. "Our main targets were the females."
It takes two to tango. Certainly, this particular Mummers club has received a black eye it may not recover from. But it is the women—with one exception—who are charged with crimes involving sex. Not the men who were also committing crimes. With due respect to the difficulties of developing a prosecution-worthy case, it is simply wrong that the criminal burden of this situation falls so heavily, so exclusively on the women involved.
Not just the criminal burden, but the social burden. The men who sought blowjobs and who knows what else from these women won't have their pictures published in a photo gallery at Philly.com, forever viewable by anybody able to use Google. (And look at those photos, how bedraggled and worn most of the women appear. It should put the lie to any media-fueled fantasies we have about Julia Roberts-style glamorous hookers.) The men were paying for sex, but it is the women who are paying the price. It is a shame. A damn shame.