I might have to agree with John Lennon that “woman is the nigger of the world.” If George Zimmerman is acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin, the streets will rightly fill with protestors. However, a Texas man was acquitted for murdering a woman who refused to have sex with him and public reaction is muted at best.
Ezekiel Gilbert shot Lenora Ivie Frago in the neck on Christmas Eve, after she denied his requests for sex and wouldn’t return the $150 he had paid her, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Under Texas law, an individual is authorized to use deadly force to “retrieve stolen property at night,” and Gilbert’s lawyers cited that provision as justification for Gilbert’s action, reasoning that Frago had stolen $150 from him by taking his money without delivering sex.
I understand lawyers have an obligation to zealously defend their clients, but I think that’s adequately fulfilled with a successful manslaughter plea rather than arguing that a woman’s body is “stolen property.”
Frago was an escort, and although there’s often a “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” understanding about the extent of service provided, she was under no legal obligation to have sex with Gilbert, who I don’t believe was even charged with the criminal act of soliciting prostitution — although, his defense was based entirely upon the admission of this illegal act.
Because Gilbert walks free, this endangers the life of every professional escort who dares to obey the law. Ellwood City Ledger reporter Eric Poole put it best in the comments for the linked ThinkProgress article:
The idiot judge who failed to tell the jury that it wasn’t allowed to consider a property recovery defense, because even I – a reporter who covers police and courts – can see it doesn’t apply here. He paid for an escort. He got an escort. Case closed. He used a gun in an attempt to compel the woman to commit an illegal act.
By Texas law — he killed someone in the commission of a crime (attempt to coerce another person to break the law) — Ezekiel is not only guilty, he ought to be subject to the death penalty (I’m opposed to the death penalty, but the law says what it says).
Let’s be clear: Texas just let an attempted rapist and successful murderer tap-dance out of the courtroom.
In court, Gilbert, 30, testified that Frago spent 20 minutes inside his apartment before she left, telling him that she needed to pay her driver. Defense attorneys Bobby Barrera and Roy Barrera Sr. claimed that Frago’s “driver” had been her pimp, and argued that under Texas law Gilbert had been within his rights to use deadly force to recover his stolen property.
I guess the gun didn’t make Gilbert brave enough to confront the alleged pimp rather than the unarmed woman.
Recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry endorsed a so-called “fetal pain” bill that would ban abortions in Texas after the 20th week of pregnancy, because he will not “idly stand by while our unborn are being put through the agony of having their lives ended.”
But once that unborn child turns 21 and stiffs a guy who paid for sex, well, I guess that’s just business.