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Letter from Norma Jean Almodovar to RI Lawmakers

Honorable Representatives and Senators,

As a retired sex worker and a long time sex worker rights activist, I’d like to address the Rhode Island bill which proposes to criminalize indoor prostitution. I am hoping that reason will prevail and you will not be pressured into signing a piece of legislation which will so negatively impact the lives of sex workers in your state. While I am a resident of California and not Rhode Island, I have been fighting against laws which criminalize consenting adult prostitution- wherever those laws exist- since I left my job with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1982.

I worked for ten years as a civilian traffic officer with the LAPD, primarily at night, and  I witnessed first hand what happens when laws are arbitrarily enforced and used against women to extort sex, money and information. I left the police department because corruption on all levels was so pervasive,  and I became a call girl and a sex worker rights activist so that I could expose the rampant abuses perpetrated by the cops against prostitutes and others. Simply put, bad laws make bad police officers.

I experienced being arrested and incarcerated and I have to tell you, it is far more traumatic than anything a prostitute might encounter at the hands of her clients. Being arrested has quite the opposite effect of being ‘rescued.’ It destroys your life. If indeed prostitutes suffer from PTSD as many anti- prostitution activists allege, this may be a direct result of being arrested and incarcerated, rather than giving pleasure for pay.

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