The texts trigged no alarm bells for Gabrielle (name has been changed), a Brisbane sex worker. Her new client seemed nervous, even afraid, but he didn’t seem dangerous.

“He was saying, ‘oh I’m really, really nervous. This is the first time I’ve ever hired anybody’,” she told Guardian Australia recently.

“I just told him ‘look, that’s fine’. I’m a pretty approachable person. I’m quite friendly and down to earth so I was just trying to make him feel comfortable.”

Gabrielle didn’t know it at the time, but the client was repeating a set of behaviours he’d already used to con other sex workers in Brisbane out of payment.

In some jurisdictions, courts have found that when a person cons a sex worker – refuses or evades the agreed payment for sex – such acts constitute rape, because consent for the sexual act was obtained fraudulently.

But Gabrielle’s case led to a wildly different outcome. Her offender was convicted of fraud, an outcome that initially left her conflicted.

“Originally I did feel like he should have been charged for rape and I was pushing for that. In my mind, payment equals consent and if you take away the payment I wouldn’t be consenting to having sex with him,” Gabrielle said.

Read the full article:

‘It absolutely should be seen as rape.’ when sex workers are conned by Michael McGowan + Christopher Knaus

Oct. 12th, 2018