In particular, JohnTV.com will be removing links to mug shots of women arrested and/or convicted of prostitution from our 'arrested, court watch, and convicted' areas of this site. However, JohnTV.com will not be removing links to mug shots of arrested and/or convicted 'Johns,' pimps and panderers.
"This decision was made after several conversations with women who either are involved in prostitution or were in the past, community leaders and other knowledgeable parties," said Brian Bates, aka the Video Vigilante and founder of JohnTV.com.
Bates reports that after these conversations, "JohnTV.com has come to the conclusion that these mug shots, though a public record, have the potential to do more harm than good for the community and the prostitutes themselves."
"Removing the mug shots of street prostitutes is more in line with the ideology that these women are more often than not victims, and prostitution is just a symptom of their victimization," said Bates. "Additionally, JohnTV.com takes no stance against women who are engaged in unorganized, consentual and 100% private prostitution."
Bates says that he has reason to believe that some men may use a suspected prostitutes mug shot and published identity to seek her out and subject her to further abuse and/or harrassment.
Bates says that some police officers he has spoken to also fear the mug shots may help 'Johns' to identify real street prostitutes from undercover police officers.
Bates says that he will continue to publish the mug shots of men arrested for engaging in the solicitation, trafficking, aiding and/or pimping of others.\
"These 'Johns' and pimps are not victims like those they prey on," said Bates. "Anyone who would profit from selling another human being or partake in purchasing sexual services from someone so down and out deserves to be publicly exposed."
Bates says that in some unique cases a mug shot of a suspected prostitute may still appear in the news or 'case files' section of JohnTV.com.
Bates said that JohnTV.com will continue to videotape suspected prostitution activities and publish those videos on the Internet without concealing the identities of either the prostitute or 'John.'