(Chuck Muth) – Katelyn Newburg of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported recently that an underage girl was raped and robbed by a 27-year-old man, Dijan Anderson, outside the Bellagio Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
The girl, reportedly under 16 years of age with autism and other developmental disabilities, “told a security guard at the hotel’s north valet area that a man took her purse and punched her in the head because she refused to solicit sex for him.”
“The girl told officers she was on the Strip with other people when they were approached by a group of men, including Anderson, who asked her to solicit men for him,” the RJ reported. “The girl ‘said she wasn’t going to participate and started to cry because she didn’t like it,’ the (police) report said.”
“Around 3:30 a.m., the girl and Anderson began walking through Bellagio; the girl told officers he then took her to a bushy area outside the casino and raped her, the report said.”
Ms. Newburg continued…
“Surveillance footage showed that Anderson and the girl walked behind some bushes and that 20 minutes later the girl came back without her purse and a man was running from the area, the report said.
“Later that morning, surveillance footage showed Anderson speaking with a woman near the MGM Grand and hitting her multiple times. Bystanders try to help in the video, but Anderson ‘chases them away’ while appearing to hold a gun, the report said.”
But it can’t be ignored that this assault occurred in the one county in Nevada, Clark (Las Vegas), where legal brothels are prohibited by state law.
The Nevada Legislature has authorized a Brothel Study Committee to look into the employment conditions of women working in Nevada’s legal brothels.
But if legislators are truly interested in the health, safety and welfare of women in Nevada who work in the sex industry, they need to look at the dire and dangerous conditions faced by those who work where commercial sexual services are ILLEGAL.
THAT’S where most of the real problems are. THAT’S where the real dangers lie. And ignoring them won’t make them go away.
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a limited-government grassroots advocacy organization, and government affairs counsel to the Nevada Brothel Association. His views are his own.