More than 30 suspect brothels could be raided by police soon as Gov. Don Carcieri signed legislation Tuesday banning prostitution and making it a misdemeanor.
Rhode Island was, until now, the only state except Nevada where prostitution was not a crime. This began in the Ocean State as a loophole in 1980 when legislators passed legislation aimed at cracking down on people who sold sex in “public,” which was a major problem in Providence’s West End. Judges would later rule that the law actually made prostitution legal in private, and the brothels sprung up all over. The effect was that a law aimed at cracking down on the sex trade actually made it proliferate.
But the party’s over now.