About

Despite NCOSE’s many victories over the last few years, it became clear to us that we needed to be something more than a highly aggressive public policy or public relations organization. We needed a Law Center. That became obvious when we saw ourselves missing critical opportunities for change simply because the End Exploitation Movement did not have a hard-charging legal team. Other movements working on important social issues have such a team, they are in the courts, in the legislatures, and they rack up many good victories because of it.

Today, in America there are no other non-profit law centers offering direct help to state prosecutors to win obscenity (hardcore pornography) cases or to help city and county councils ward off sex businesses, such as strip clubs and porn shops, or to bring innovative lawsuits challenging public institutions that participate in sexual exploitation.

Such an entity is desperately needed and that is why NCOSE launched the Law Center in 2015 under the direction of Patrick Trueman, former Chief, US Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

HELP FUND THE CRITICAL LAW CENTER. DONATE HERE.

The Law Center quickly found there is no shortage of opportunities to further this great cause. It was our Law Center that drafted the Resolution declaring pornography to be a “public health crisis,” which passed the Utah legislature, and was signed by Governor Gary Herbert. This same resolution is now under consideration in a variety of other states as well as by the parliaments of Canada and Israel, and it is getting great press for our cause.

 

Our Law Center was asked to write a key legal brief for the Georgia Supreme Court in a case where a child predator was claiming he had a constitutional right to find children online and talk to them about sex in an arousing and exploitive manner. This line of argument was accepted in another supreme court in a different state so we knew we had to be involved in the Georgia case. In the end, our legal brief helped to convince the Georgia Supreme Court to rule against the child predator.

 

Our legal team recently filed an amicus brief in a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case challenging California’s anti-prostitution law. The groups challenging that law are arguing that all sexual activity, no matter what, is a protected right under our U. S. Constitution. It is obvious where this would end up if they win. All laws against prostitution and of course pornography would be threatened and we would almost certainly see an increase in sex trafficking and child sexual abuse as a result.

 

Our legal team is also finishing a significant project to update an immensely helpful and highly demanded legal manual that teaches local and state officials how to ward off sexually oriented businesses with regulations, zoning, and more. It will be particularly useful to communities that want to stop the spread of illicit massage parlors that are actually brothels. The NCOSE Law Center is one of a kind, so our lawyers are contacted regularly with new requests – many of which we have to turn down. It is our hope that we can grow the Law Center so that it can take on more of these cases.

 

I hope you see that the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is unique and that we are the only organization doing what we do. We are leading a movement to end sexual exploitation through education and advocacy, and the law.

 

Updates

NCOSE to host National Briefing at U.S. Capitol on Policy Recommendations to Curb Exploitation

ACTION ALERT! Invite your Members of Congress to attend this critical briefing on a range of sexual exploitation issues. Let them know that you want their office to make these issues a priority!   Like never before in this country’s history, America is suffering from systemic sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, pornography and […]

Virginia Resolution Recognizing Harms of Pornography Moves Forward!

Major Update: the Virginia State House just passed a resolution recognizing the harms of pornography, similar to the one passed in Utah and South Dakota, with an overwhelming majority of 82-8. The resolution will now move on to the Virginia State Senate. This decision by the Virginia State House also follows on the heels of […]

NCOSE’s Position on “Human Trafficking Prevention Act”

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation does not endorse or support the Human Trafficking Prevention Act (HTPA) also called the Children’s Online Filtering Act. It is not that the ideas in the proposed legislation are without merit, but the bill does not appear to be drafted with careful precision. For example, Section 5, titled, “Duty […]

VICTORIES: Public Health Resolution Scoring Unanimous Support

Yesterday, the resolution we drafted recognizing pornography as a public health crisis was introduced in subcommittee in the state of Virginia by VA Delegate Bob Marshall and it passed UNANIMOUSLY! We are especially excited because most folks expected this to be shot down, but even the committee members agreed that the testimony from two of […]

The Trump Administration & Combatting Sexploitaiton

EVENT ALERT The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is hosting an online press conference Monday, January 30 at 1:00 PM ET to outline policy recommendations to Congress and the new administration. Watch the press conference on NCOSE’s Facebook page. [UPDATED – Video Uploaded Here.] For the last 7 years, we at NCOSE have worked hard to make sure officials […]

Podcast: Could Prostitution Be Fully Decriminalized in California?

An alarming court case (Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project (ESPLERP) v. Gascón) is being appealed in the Ninth Circuit this year that argues California’s prostitution laws are unconstitutional and that call for prostitution to be fully decriminalized. The results of this case could impact 20% of America’s population. That’s why the National Center on […]

NCOSE Law Center Weighs in on California Case that Could Fully Decriminalize Prostitution

Could Prostitution Be Fully Decriminalized in California? Should it? Watch the Video Below to Learn More: As Lisa Thompson, NCOSE VP, and Savanah Lawrence, NCOSE Legal Fellow, explain in the video, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation submitted an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of ESPLERP v. Gascón. […]

VIDEO: Is Distributing Pornography Illegal? Obscenity Law Explained

Watch Our Latest Video Here: Dani Pinter from the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Law Center explains obscenity law and it’s implications for Internet pornography today. All speech is presumptively protected under the First Amendment. However, “obscene pornography” is not. There are large categories of speech that are unprotected, for example child pornography, blackmail, or […]

STATEMENT: Georgia Supreme Court Rules Talking Dirty to a Child is Not Protected by the First Amendment

Statement by Dani Pinter, Director of NCOSE’s Law Center Washington, DC – Georgia’s Supreme Court this week upheld a statute criminalizing obscene Internet contact with a child, finding that the statute was not a violation of the First Amendment as an appeal had claimed. The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) filed an amicus brief […]

Law Center Victory in Georgia v. Scott: “Talking Dirty” to a Child is Not Protected by the First Amendment

In January, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation submitted an amicus brief to the Georgia Supreme Court urging the court to uphold a statute criminalizing obscene Internet contact with minors. This statute is vital to protecting children from sexual predators in the digital age but was facing a First Amendment challenge. The American Center for Law […]

FAQs

Enforcement of obscenity laws does not raise any Constitutional problem – In Chaplinksy v. New Hampshire, 315 U.S. 568, 571-572 (1942), the Supreme Court said: “There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene…It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality.

Obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press – In Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957), Justice Brennan observed that “this Court has always assumed that obscenity is not protected by the freedoms of speech and press” (at 481). In Roth, the Supreme Court went on to hold that obscenity is “not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press” (at 485).

First Amendment was intended to protect ideas and debate, not obscene material – In Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15, 34 (1973), the Supreme Court said: “[T]o equate the free and robust exchange of ideas and political debate with commercial exploitation of obscene material demeans the grand conception of the First Amendment and its high purposes in the historic struggle for freedom. It is a ‘misuse of the great guarantees of free speech and…press.’”
More recently, in Ashcroft v. ACLU, 535 U.S. 564!(2002), the Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to application of obscenity laws to the Internet. See also, United States v. Extreme Associates, 431 F.3d 150 (3rd Cir. 2005), cert. den., 547 U.S. 1143 (2006).

In Paris Adult Theater I v. Slaton, 413 U.S. 49, 57 (1973), the Supreme Court identified “legitimate governmental interests” that justify a prohibition on obscene materials “even if it is feasible to enforce eðective safeguards against exposure to juveniles.” These include protecting the community environment, public safety, morality and family life. The Court also said there is a “right of the Nation and of the states to maintain a decent society” (at 59).

The display of pornography is also a frequent factor in workplace sexual harassment cases, and time wasted viewing pornography reduces worker productivity. Our nation’s role in polluting the world with pornography is also making the war against terrorism more diðcult. Common sense should also inform us that when children are exposed to graphic depictions of hardcore adult pornography their attitudes about sex, sexual desires and sexual behavior can be influenced for the worst. And especially on the Internet, large numbers of children are being exposed to hardcore adult pornography.

According to the results of a national opinion poll commissioned by Morality in Media and conducted by Harris Interactive in April 2008: 75% of adult Americans said they would support the next President were he to do all in his or constitutional power to ensure that federal obscenity laws are enforced vigorously.

Decriminalized prostitution refers to the removal of laws criminalizing the sex trade. One form of decriminalization—commonly referred to as the Nordic model—targets only individuals involved in the selling of sex (i.e. prostituting persons); other forms of decriminalization may seek to decriminalize all parties involved in the provisioning, buying, and selling of sex. Thus, “full” decriminalization refers to the repeal of laws pertaining to pimping, brothel keeping, and sex buyers, as well as those who sell sex.

Legalized prostitution is generally understood to be regulated prostitution, although the term may also be used to refer to jurisdictions where there is no law explicitly prohibiting prostitution. Under systems of legalized prostitution, various regulations governing how commercial sex transaction are to be conducted are instituted. Such regulations may include brothel licensing requirements and restrictions on where brothels can locate, as well as establish requirements that prostituting persons officially register with the government, undergo compulsory health checks, and pay taxes on proceeds from prostitution.

A third approach to prostitution is known as prohibition. According to this approach all prostitution is viewed as criminal activity and all activities connected with prostitution (i.e. soliciting, procuring, pimping, brothel keeping) are criminalized.

Decriminalization of prostitution gives social sanction to sexual exploitation.

We believe prostitution is a system of sexual exploitation that requires Abolition, not social sanction.[1] It is a system whereby individuals are supplied as public, sexual commodities, which preys upon vulnerable members of society and is rife with violence against those sold for sex. Decriminalization of prostitution in no way rectifies the conditions of inequality, abuse, violence, and dehumanization which animate all forms of prostitution—it tragically assents to them.

 

At its best, decriminalization of prostitution may be a crude and naïve attempt to ameliorate deeply entrenched sexual exploitation. But at its worst, decriminalization of prostitution is a nefarious miscarriage of justice that “disappears” egregious human rights abuses by use of political smoke and mirrors that authorize profiteering from sexual violence, and accede to a right of some individuals to purchase other human beings for sex. In sum, decriminalization grants impunity to pimps, magically morphing them into reputable, sexually-oriented business entrepreneurs, and mystically transforming sex buyers into respectable clients.

[1] Importantly, when NCOSE decries prostitution, we are condemning prostitution as a system whereby human beings are openly bought and sold for sex, not the persons used and exploited by that system.

 

 

[1] Importantly, when NCOSE decries prostitution, we are condemning prostitution as a system whereby human beings are openly bought and sold for sex, not the persons used and exploited by that system.

How to get SOBs out of your community:

A Primer On Zoning And Licensing Of Sexually Oriented Businesses – Though SOBs have some First Amendment protection, county and town councils can AND SHOULD use zoning and licensing authority to control their negative secondary effects. SOBs can, in fact be regulated in a more stringent fashion than other types of businesses that have no First Amendment protection. (Written by Alliance Defending Freedom)

How To Get Porn Out Of Video Stores – Here is a blueprint for action against the sale and rental of hardcore pornography in your community’s “mainstream” video store(s). (Written by Robert Peters, President Emeritus of Morality In Media)

Studies on SOBs

The purpose of these studies is to inform and alert municipalities regarding the law on sexually oriented businesses and on ordinances that have passed judicial scrutiny.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

The duties of the Legal Intern include legal researching and writing (including possibly helping on legal briefs) on topics of obscenity, indecency, harmful to minors, and related laws. The intern will assist efforts of the Law Center. Efforts of the law center includes: helping city and county councils ward off sex businesses, advise citizen groups and activists on how to rid communities of “massage parlors” that serve as fronts for sex trafficking and prostitution, help state prosecutors win obscenity cases, file innovative law suits to end sexual exploitation, and build a legal database/brief bank of necessary materials for use by the Defense Fund and others working on the cause.

The Intern will also join NCSE’s team on visits to U.S. Senate and House offices for policy meetings and attend strategy meetings on Capitol Hill and to the offices of our allies. In addition, the Intern may be called upon to draft correspondence, track pending legislation, and to otherwise assist NCSE staff with their duties.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Enthusiasm for the cause is critical
  • It is preferred that the individual have legal experience and is seeking or already obtained a law degree.
  • Critical thinking ability
  • Legal training with First Amendment background
  • excellent writing skills

LOCATION & LOGISTICS:

  • Washington, DC Office
  • This is an unpaid internship, although metro and bus fare will be covered.
  • Rolling start dates.
  • Minimum 8 week commitment required
  • To apply, please send cover letter detailing your specific interest in these issues and a resume to patrick@ncose.com.

Call 202-393-7245 or email Patrick with any questions.

 

Find a brief explanation of child pornography at the U.S. Department of Justice’s website here.

The United Nations defines human trafficking in Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons as:

“the recruitment … by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion,… of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services…”

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