Monday, February 25, 2013

ABC Nightline covers international sting in Philippines involving minors, recalls similar NBC series

On Monday, February 25, ABC Nightline aired a report ("Investigation: Alleged Underage Prostitution in the Philippines") on the investigation and arrest (with customs or ICE agents) in the Philippines of a businessman, Arthur Benjamin, for running a prostitution ring to employe underage girls. 
The ABC report (written by Alexander Marquardt and Alex Waterfield from Subic Bay is quite detailed, and the descriptive link is here.

Police looked at the girls teeth to determine whether they were underage.  That tends to suggest a lower age-of-consent than in the United States.

Benajamin showed up 45 minutes late for the tense sting setup. 

The report recalls a similar series by NBC Dateline, “To Catch a Predator”, where NBC reporter Chris Hansen participated in setting up the stings (see recap. Nov. 15, 2009).  It would actually be interesting to follow up on exactly what happened to some of the more high-profiled defendants, such as Rabbi David Kaye, or a cancer researcher in California.  As with the sting in the Philippine, most of the cases on NBC actually were heterosexual.  NBC Dateline would be better equipped to do this than any independent filmmaker.
The report reminds one of the effort by Ashton Kutcher (“aplusk” on Twitter) and Demi Moore to fight trafficking abroad.  Ashton once said on Piers Morgan, “Real men don’t buy girls.”

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