"Dennis Green admits he offered another man $20 in 2011 for sex," a Cincinnati.com article yesterday morning said, but "Green's defense in the criminal case could have a far-reaching impact if his attorneys win their argument -- legalizing prostitution in Ohio."
That case will be before the First District Court of Appeals this morning and, if, the three-judge panel -- Sylvia Hendon, Lee Hildebrandt Jr., and Pat DeWine – agrees with Green's argument,it's headed to the Ohio Supreme Court.
"Green was arrested Oct. 7, 2011," the article says, "and charged with soliciting an undercover officer and loitering to engage in solicitation. After a motion to dismiss the charges, based on his attorney's assertion that making prostitution illegal is unconstitutional, was denied by Municipal Court Judge Fanon Rucker, Green was convicted of soliciting in a plea deal that resulted in the second charge being dropped. He was sentenced to the five days in jail he'd already served on the case, placed on probation for a year, ordered him to get HIV testing and to stay away from the area where the incident happened. Appealing the case, he argues his charges weren't crimes based on free speech and other rights. Green's public defender, Scott Nazzarine, told Cincinnati.com "This really isn’t so much about prostitution itself. It’s about privacy rights and constitutional rights and the government's intrusion into them.Morality is the only justification for this. Any justification for prostitution laws is just a pretext for morality."
"It's payment for sex," Aaron Herzig, a lawyer for the City of Cincinnati, said. "We don't see the Court of Appeals overturning the long history of the city, the state and the nation that criminalized paying for sex."
The Ohio Revised Code defines prostitution as "the promiscuous engagment in sexual activity for hire, regardless of whether the hire is paid to the prostitute or to another. [ORC 2907.01(D)].