Judge in Miami Prostitution Case Rules Defense May Have Limited Access to Client List

January 12, 2011 by David S. Seltzer

A prosecution out of Detroit isn’t getting much attention here in south Florida -- but as a Miami-Dade prostitution criminal defense lawyer, I’m very interested. According to the Miami New Times, Michigan authorities are prosecuting Gregory Carr, his ex-wife, Laurie Carr, and three other people -- all from south Florida -- for running a high-priced prostitution business named Miami Companions. A federal judge has agreed to let Gregory Carr’s attorney review a 30,000-name database of clients that’s currently in prosecutors’ possession, so that he can build an adequate defense. Reportedly, the database contains some information about customers’ sexual preferences as well as their names, jobs and contact information. The move has raised concerns about the privacy of those customers, who are not currently being prosecuted.

Miami Companions was set up as a high-end dating service, but reportedly charged as much as $500 an hour for sexual services. Though it was based in Miami, it did business around the world. Michigan authorities uncovered the business last summer and brought charges against the Carrs and three employees. Gregory Carr is charged with 11 counts of conspiracy to coerce and entice prostitution, coercion and enticement of prostitution and money laundering. His Florida prostitution defense attorney asked the judge earlier this month to order prosecutors to share the client database so they could prepare for trial. Prosecutors opposed this, saying they believe Carr was trying to embarrass past clients because they are also potential witnesses. The judge released the database, but ordered that the attorney be given only a paper printout of the clients with area codes from greater Detroit. That printout must be returned to prosecutors at the end of the case. The attorney may also review the entire electronic database at an FBI office in Tampa, but not take a copy home and return any notes at the end of the case.

As a Fort Lauderdale prostitution criminal defense lawyer, I hope this compromise allows Carr to defend himself adequately against the very serious charges he faces. In this case, the rights of the defendant -- who has a legal right to access to the information being used against him -- are at odds with the rights of the people on that client list. Those individuals are not currently charged with crimes and may never be, making their identities none of the public’s business. In fact, even if they are charged with crimes, the information on their preferences wouldn’t be necessary, or tasteful, to release to the public. In fact, being identified as a client could destroy relationships and careers for some -- which is why I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that clients have retained defense attorneys of their own.

If you’re accused of prostitution, pimping, solicitation or another sex crime in greater Miami, don’t wait before you call Seltzer Law, P.A. for help. We are available to our clients 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so we can get started right away protecting your freedom and your reputation. To learn more about us or set up a free, confidential case evaluation, send us a message online or call 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333).