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Anti-prostitution case dismissed by federal judge (updated)


Developer and brothel owner Lance Gilman speaks at wild horse event in Reno last week. Image: Tabitha Mueller

A federal lawsuit filed by an anti-prostitution proponent was dismissed this week in U.S. District Court. Brothel owner Lance Gilman said the suit filed by Jason Guinasso aimed to criminalize prostitution throughout Nevada because brothels allegedly allow sex trafficking to flourish.

Federal Judge Miranda Du disagreed and granted a motion to dismiss the suit.

Plaintiffs alleged that they were sexually trafficked around the country and at Nevada brothels.

“That plaintiffs were unlawfully forced into prostitution and sex trafficked in Nevada and other states is not sufficiently traceable to Nevada laws permitting legal prostitution as opposed to other factors, namely the illicit behaviors of private bad actions,” Du determined. “The Court concludes that Plaintiffs fail to establish standing to invoke this Court’s jurisdiction over this case.”

Gilman issued a statement praising the decision:

“This was a complete waste and misuse of taxpayer dollars and, from the very get go, appears to have been done for political gain rather than the establishment of sound policy,” he said. “Our foremost priority at the Mustang Ranch is the health and safety of the women that work in this industry and the guests that visit our establishment.”

Guinasso said he was disappointed in the ruling.

“[My clients] strongly disagree with the Court’s ruling that they lacked standing to bring this federal lawsuit against the State of Nevada and are working with their legal counsel to consider all their legal options, including an appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals,” he said. “Their complaint asserted more than sufficient facts and related claims for relief to invoke the jurisdiction of the Federal Court.  

“In this regard, they provided the Court with facts and claims for relief to show that they had suffered injuries that are both ‘concrete and particularized,’ and ‘actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.’”  

UPDATE: This story was updated to include comment from Guinasso.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. He is also a part time instructor at UNR and sits on the boards of the Nevada Press Association and Nevada Open Government Coalition.