USA Today: Have you ever wondered why prostitution is illegal, but it's totally legal to PAY people for sex and then release it as PORN? There's a weird situation in Arizona that really makes you wonder: What IS the difference between porno and prostitution?
52-year-old William James Hartwell has been running a company called New Media Studios in Phoenix, Arizona for several years. On the surface, it sounds like a brothel. Men come to the building, pay money, and have sex with the women inside.
But . . . William says it's not prostitution, it's PORNO. He says the men sign paperwork and pay to STAR in their own, quote, "pornographic fantasy." They're checked for STDs, and their sex with the women is FILMED for them.
The ads William places for New Media Studios online explain the system. Quote, "Most porn is constitutionally protected as free speech. While at the studio, you are paying for equipment and studio rental only and may not engage in any illegal activities.
"If you come to make amateur porn, you are welcome at the studio." Yes, that sounds like William is playing the semantics game to get away with running a brothel. But doesn't he kind of have a point?
The police raided the place on Thursday after a six-month investigation, and arrested William. So now, it'll come down to the courts to determine . . . what IS the line between prostitution and porno?