Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sex for Pay Slows Down Judge's Day

Sex for Pay Slows Down Judge's Day

By Norm Kent

Bill Abramson’s appeal is pending before the Supreme Court, and we are anxiously waiting to see if they allow him to become a judge. Since the same Supreme Court suspended him from the practice of law, he needs a job, but then so do a lot of Americans.

Michael Hecht, on the other hand, is not out of a job but needs work. As a matter of fact, just like Abramson, Hecht recently won a judicial seat by beating an incumbent in a community just south of Seattle. Don’t congratulate him yet, though.

It seems that Mr. Hecht is under criminal investigation by the Pierce County, D.A. for soliciting, meeting, and paying male prostitutes for sex. As a result, the small office of the Pierce County D.A. has refused to send lawyers to his courtroom to hear cases. The court has ground to a halt. Prosecutors are refusing to try their cases before him.

So what happens? Does he just call the case and dismiss them if the State does not show? I would think he has to issue a Rule to Show Cause why they are not held in contempt. Unless you are Fred Haddad, you can’t just not show up for court. I have a call in to Mike Satz’s office. I do not think a prosecutor can just refuse to ‘show up.’ I would think petulance does not suffice; that they would actually have to file a writ of prohibition with a higher court. And what are they going to say when the target has not yet been charged?

Hecht denies any criminal activity, but otherwise declines to comment. He is too busy trying to burn the pictures. He accuses supporters of the judge who he defeated of initiating the complaints. Maybe so, but the local newspaper now has published the statements of two male prostitutes who claim to have had sex with Hecht regularly, for money. Tacoma police and the Attorney General’s Office are reviewing the allegations, placing the judge under a cloud of infamy. The juicy article appears here.
Okay, so the judge is not an angel. Whether you are straight or gay, if you pay to play and get caught, you are going to have a bad day. It does not matter whether you are a New York governor or a Broward County judge. Though here in Broward County, we just don’t have hookers. We have entire swingers clubs getting popped.

On this day, everyone is making fun of Michael Phelps today for being so stupid as to smoke a joint and jeopardize his endorsement packages. Analogously, I suppose that a new jurist could better serve the public if he was not sleeping with the 20 year old defendant before him in a courtroom.

What I do not understand is why the jurist just does not say: “Like every straight man who ever got horny, I picked up a hooker and had sex. There are legal brothels in Nevada and red light districts in Boston. Why should anyone care what I do with my body on my time? It will not compromise my duties as a jurist or public servant. Get out of my face.”

Over a 34 year legal career, I have seen how many citizens of high society, political distinction, and public recognition have patronized ‘citizens of ill repute.’ How many cops were popped at that swingers club on Commercial Boulevard, a half dozen? There is a reason prostitution has been called the world’s oldest profession. It did not begin with the Red Light District in Amsterdam and it will not end with Michael Hecht. Society needs to stop joining in the culture of conformity which demeans consensual sex for pay as an unlawful act. Today, it may be safer than eating peanut butter.

What I do not want to see is a streaming series of tearful apologies from this jurist who knowingly chose to do what he wanted to do. I want unapologetic defiance, denouncing the law that never should have been there in the first place. Let Phelps own up to smoking dope. Let Hecht own up to paying for a trick.

I do not want to hear about the regrets of the New Jersey Governor, the rehabilitation of Ted Haggart, or the further experiences of Larry Craig in airport bathrooms. Then there is that whole deal with the Portland mayor, who apparently just can’t get enough boys. Look what these son of a bitches do. They go out and enjoy themselves secretly, and when then get caught publicly, they run to apologize to Larry King. Screw them all. If they thought with the wrong head, man up and deal with it.

I do not want to hear about their ‘abuse excuses’. I do not care, if like Congressman Mark Foley, they were molested as kids, and how tough they had it. So you were stressed out in your million dollar Palm Beach home. So is the single mom with a five year old child that needs books for school. So is the senior whose social security check carries them only two weeks into the month. So is the young worker in a steel mill town that has just been shut down.

Persons of power and persuasion who get caught with their pants down need to stop finding other people to lay it on. If they were more honest in the first place, the very behavior they find themselves apologizing for might have already become worthy of indifference and apathy instead of approbation and shame. Their own silence contributed to their inevitable demise, and they have no one but themselves to blame.

Thousands of Americans are out of work and getting screwed by a collapsing economy, diminution of capital, and a loss of access to credit, jobs, or opportunity. Let's worry about something other than hookers and their clients.

1 comment:

  1. It's getting harder and harder for law enforcement to actually stop prostitutes from plying their trade as there are simply too many options on the internet for women to safely advertise. There are entire communities of John's like where info and reviews about escorts, strippers, and massage parlors are exchanged. Good luck cops!