NY Prostitution Case Dismissed Because Pea Coats


An ill-advised prostitution arrest in New York City (golly gee wilikers!) led to a hilarious courtroom disquisition about what sort of women’s clothing is actually part of a sex worker’s wardrobe. Much to the surprise of certain finger-wagging old-timers, tight, contour-enhancing jeans and a pea coat are most certainly not a part of said wardrobe, though they’re grounds for being arrested for suspicion of prostitution.

According to the Post (because of course according to the Post), Manhattan Judge Felicia Mennin dismissed a woman’s prostitution case, saying the NYPD failed miserably in its attempted to profile the woman based on her outfit — “black pea coat, skinny jeans and platform shoes.” These clothing items are not necessarily found only on sex workers, though it’d be wrong to assume that sex workers don’t appreciate the timeless pragmatism that the pea coat, in all its permutations, represents.

NYPD officers spotted the pea coat-clad woman speaking to three people in Midtown Manhattan within a 20-minute period. It was very late at night. The woman’s heels were distressingly, toe-achingly high. Her jeans, according to the arresting officers, were too “revealing.”

In her decision, Judge Mennin dismissed the officers’ appraisal of the woman’s outfit, explaining,

Any current issue of a fashion magazine would display plenty of women similarly dressed. However, the choice of such outfit hardly demonstrates the wearer’s proclivity to engage in prostitution.

Further proving her sartorial acuity, Mennin added,

Granted, this incident occurred in the middle of winter. However, a pea coat is still standard issue to members of the US Navy . . . and blue jeans, skin-tight or baggy, are practically an American icon.

Mennin dismissed the case because it was even more ridiculous than her explaining the history of the pea coat in America to police officers.

[NY Post]

Image via Serogio / Shutterstock.

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