The Counsellor's Corner


How is this for good work if you can get it?  In December of last year, a woman convicted on prostitution charges lost her appeal in Portland.  The woman, Marcalena Dupree, ran several escort services; however, this is not your average case. 

In this matter, Portland Police used “paid decoys”.  That’s right, the Portland Police Department actually paid decoys to have sex with prostitutes while secretly videotaping the sexual acts.  Ms. Dupree’s attorney claimed that this police behavior constituted “outrageous government conduct”, however the appellate court didn’t think so.  Ms. Dupree was convicted in 1998 on multiple prostitution charges, and she was sentenced to 27 months in prison.  This led to a number of challenges to the verdict, including the main one, that the case should have been dismissed due to the use of paid decoys.

For openers, I’m a little bit thrown by the use of the word “decoy”.  Do they mean paid Johns?   Exactly what is it that they are decoying?  When I think of the word decoy, I think of something very different than that which transpired in this case. These were real men being paid to get together with prostitutes.  They were not decoys, they were police hirees. 

If anyone reading this column is unemployed, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Portland Police Department is your next stop.  This sounds a lot safer than pornography in that you get paid to have sex with prostitutes and you are doing so as an agent of the police department.  Apparently the Portland Police Department doesn’t have anything better to do than attempt to convict Ms. Dupree and have her sentenced to 27 months in prison, and if you want, you can be a part of it.  If they did it once, I imagine they will do it again, and I would think that the Portland prostitutes have some sort of network whereby these “decoys” will be recognized in the future, so I would imagine that now would be a good time for them to hire future employees, and this doesn’t sound like awful work.  Maybe the next class will unionize and perhaps a 401K plan is on the way.

Imagine someone presently receiving unemployment benefits.  When that person learns all they have to do is fly to Portland to pick up this kind of work, I would think that our already low unemployment rate that is a source of happiness for the country, although concern for Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan, will go even lower.  We may well go below 4% rather quickly, as soon as this type of work gets publicized.  And I would have to imagine that Portland is not the only locale where this is taking place.  I would have to imagine that in the State of California, one might be able to find similar work.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.  The police department where you apply can always say no.


Dr. Charles J. Unger is a criminal defense attorney in the Glendale law firm of Flanagan, Booth & Unger, and a therapist at the Foothill Centre for Personal and Family Growth.  Mr. Unger writes a bimonthly column on legal and psychological issues.