A former Assistant United States Attorney and Massachusetts Assistant Attorney General was arrested last week “on charges related to soliciting prostitution,” according to Live Boston 617 and the Boston Globe.
Bruce Singal, currently a partner at Hinckley Allen who also lists an adjunct position at Boston College on his resume, allegedly picked up a woman from a less than reputable area of town and was confronted by police while being… um… you know, by the woman. According to the report the woman received $40 for the transaction.
The incident report is tagged “Human Trafficking” which… was a hell of a leap. Indeed, the Globe reports that this charge was later amended downward from the police’s opening salvo to misdemeanor solicitation.
While it’s certainly possible that a sex worker is a victim of human trafficking there’s no basis for taking that as the default assumption. Elevating every sex worker to a human trafficking victim from the outset of an investigation is a well-known problem and a mindset that law enforcement cultivates to continually justify massive operations like these.
That said, whenever a prosecutor is pinched in a situation like this, it merits at least a moment to dwell on the importance of prosecutors taking a step back — like the prosecutors in this case seem to have — before aggressively going to the hilt on criminal charges and taking law enforcement assertions on faith.
PROMINENT BOSTON LAWYER, FORMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY AND CURRENT B.C. LAW PROFESSOR ARRESTED ON METHADONE MILE FOR SEX CRIMES [Live Boston 617]
Prominent attorney charged with soliciting a prostitute after arrest in parking garage [Boston Globe
Joe Patrice is a senior editor at Above the Law and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email any tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re interested in law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe also serves as a Managing Director at RPN Executive Search.