Age old business now a punishable offense

MCAS IWAKUNI, Japan — Military leaders now have something new in their arsenal to combat a medical and moral detriment to service members.

According to a new provision to the Manual for Courts-Martial, which was set into motion Nov. 15, patronizing a prostitute is now a punishable offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“Under the UCMJ, it has always been illegal to prostitute oneself, now it is an offense to patronize a prostitute,” said Capt. Adam J. Workman, prosecutor and native of Salt Lake City. “The new provision is good for morality, health and national security.”

The new provision makes the offense punishable by up to one year in jail and a dishonorable discharge.

In the past, patronizing a prostitute was prosecuted under the general article 134 of the UCMJ which covers good order and discipline.

“The new provision makes patronizing a prostitute an official offense,” said Workman.

There are many reasons the new provision has been established. It is not only morally and medically detrimental to service members but the business also supports crime. 
“Recently, authorities have linked a connection between prostitution and our enemies,” said Workman. “The money generated by prostitution ends up in the hands of organized criminals and ultimately terrorists.”

Not only has the criminal underground in prostitution been a problem, DoD has also taken a stand against human trafficking.
According to a government report in 2003, an estimated 800,000 people worldwide are trafficked across borders each year. Many of the victims are forced into prostitution and sexual exploitation.
“Human trafficking is criminal and deprives the victim of their rights and dignities as a human being,” said Navy Lt. Joseph D. Reardon, Marine Aircraft Group 12 Deputy Chaplain and native of Kansas City, Miss. “Human beings are treated as mere tools.”
Even with all of the criminal reasons to outlaw prostitution, morality is also a factor.
“Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person that engages in it,” added Reardon. “Prostitution reduces the person to an instrument and is outside the sanctity of the love between a husband and wife.”
Since prostitutes tend to have a large number of sexual partners, there are many health risks involved.
“There are significant medical consequences to human trafficking and prostitution,” said Navy Cmdr. Michael M. Jacobs, MAG-12 Surgeon and native of Anaheim, Calif. “There are a number of viral and bacterial diseases that are transmitted through sexual contact, even with protective measures. Among others, sexually transmitted diseases include HIV, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, genital warts and molluscum.”

Sexual exploitation and prostitution not only affects the customers but also the prostitutes who many times are forced into the job.

“Don’t think for one minute these women are not being harmed,” said Jacobs. “Marines and sailors who patronize prostitutes inflict psychological and emotional trauma on another human being.”



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