A man in Washington Township is accused of solicitation for inviting two alleged prostitutes to a motel room he had rented in Rostraver Township.
Dennis Edward Kuskie, age 46, is the alleged suspect. He accused the two women of stealing $1,500 from him at about 11:30 PM on November 17. Each of the women is facing a criminal charge. Kuskie says the theft happened while he was briefly out of the room.
Charged with prostitution are Alisha Vaccaro, age 20, of Monongahela and Marisa Marie Gillard, age 26, of Union Township.
The hotel where the incident happened is a Holiday Inn & Express Suites on Finley Road.
According to text messages on Vaccaro's phone, Kuskie offered the women $2,000 to "hang out" with him. Police also say that there were photographs in text messages that were sent to Kuskie of the two women together.
The cases were issued in summons on Tuesday in Monessen by a senior District Judge.
Pennsylvania law considers both hiring a prostitute and prostitution to be crimes. A person hiring a prostitute is charged with patronizing or solicitation, and the person hiring themselves out for sexual activity is charged with prostitution. A first offense, in either case, is a third-degree misdemeanor that comes with a jail sentence of up to one year. The third time a person is charged with prostitution, the charge is a second-degree misdemeanor, and every time after that, it’s a first-degree misdemeanor. The jail time and fines go up at each level.
If a person commits the crime of prostitution knowing that they have AIDS or are HIV positive, he or she will be charged with a third-degree felony, which comes with a much harsher punishment.
Laws addressing prostitution exist for a reason. Like all statutes, their purpose is to protect people, from others and from themselves. Besides the obvious problem of the spreading of diseases, prostitutes and their johns often commit other crimes when “hanging out” together. This case is a prime example, with the two women allegedly stealing Mr. Kuskie’s money. Many times, prostitutes are looking for money to support a drug habit.
This past August, Pittsburgh police cracked down on prostitution, arresting forty people in a single week for prostitution, soliciting prostitution, and promoting the sex trade. Often, prostitution is part and parcel of sex trafficking, another very good reason to shut the trade down. Parents sometimes sell their children to sex traffickers to support their drug habits, which then introduces the kids to both prostitution and drugs. It’s a vicious cycle that police and others are trying to stop.
There are defenses that a good attorney can use to help Mr. Kuskie and his lady friends to get out from under all or some of their charges. If no sex act took place, for example, then no prostitution happened. If the three had not gotten around to even attempting sex, then the same would be true. It seems that the only money that was exchanged was the theft of the $1,500, and I’m not sure that counts as an exchange, since it was not freely given on Kuskie’s part.
So, while Kuskie and his female friends appear to have been together consensually, who knows what was happening behind the scenes. Also, the alleged crimes were committed at a local hotel, which is a common scenario for this type of activity. This kind of publicity cannot be good for the owner of the hotel. Who wants to spend the night in a place where that kind of thing goes on, especially if they have kids?
What amazes me in the case is that this man is engaging in, or intending to engage in, something illegal and then call the police when his new “friends” steal his money. Did he think the cops would not recognize the situation? Or did he believe they would ignore the circumstances and simply insist the women return his money?