Articles Posted in PROSTITUTION

White Plains law firm Tilem & Associates won a major Court victory yesterday when a Supreme Court Justice granted the firm’s application and  issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the Town of Greenburgh’s enforcement of its local law regulating massage establishments.   In 2015 the Town of Greenburgh, New York in Westchester County passed an ordinance which required massage establishments to obtain special permits from the Town in order to operate within the unincorporated part of the Town.  During consideration of the ordinance by the Town Board, the proposed legislation was not without controversy.  In fact the Town Board received a letter from the New York State Department of Education letting the Board know that licensed massage therapists were wholly regulated by the State of New York and were licensed by the State Department of Education and that the regulation by the State preempted any such regulation by the Town and unfairly burdened professionals licensed by the State.

Notably, the Greenburgh ordinance regulates licensed massage therapists not unlicensed massage therapists and requires those that are already licensed to obtain a Greenburgh License.  Also notably, the Greenburgh ordinance defines Massage, a term already defined in sec 7801 of the New York State Education Law.

Based upon the clear preemption of these regulations by New York State Law, the American Massage Therapy Association brought a lawsuit to invalidate the Greenburgh Law in 2016.   However, after a significant amount of litigation that lawsuit was dismissed on a technicality.  On September 29, 2016, Acting Supreme Court Justice Helen Blackwood ruled that “what appears to be a meritorious claim fails due to petitioners’ lack of standing.”  Standing is a legal principle that requires a litigant to demonstrate some injury before they can bring a lawsuit. Since neither the  American Massage Therapy Association nor an individual petitioner had been directly affected or harmed by the new law Judge Blackwood ruled that they could not maintain the original action.

Tilem & Associates, won a major victory after a Judge in Nassau County ordered that all evidence be suppressed in a Marihuana and Patronizing a Prostitute case. The evidence that was suppressed included both written and oral confessions as well as about a pound of Marihuana, a scale, grinder, baggies for packaging and a large amount of cash (over $4000). All of the evidence was ordered suppressed by the Judge after two detectives testified at a suppression hearing held in February and the Judge questioned their credibility.

The Charges dated back to an incident that occurred back in January 2013 at a motel in Nassau County, Detectives were conducting surveillance on a motel room that they believed was being used by prostitutes. When a male entered the room and left about 20 minutes later he was stopped by the police and questioned about what happened inside the motel room. Police also claimed that they observed marijuana in plain view in his car. They got the male to take them back up to the motel room to identify the prostitutes and they got the male to consent to searches of his car and home and waive his Miranda warnings and then write out a written confession

Tilem & Associates principal, Peter H. Tilem handled the suppression hearing and cross examined the two detectives. Upon cross-examination many inconsistencies were revealed in the testimony of the two detectives and it was revealed for the first time that they likely forcibly stopped the male by grabbing his car keys from his hand with out any lawful justification. Mr. Tilem, successfully argued that if the initial stop of the male was unconstitutional then all evidence that was recovered after the stop, including all statements needed to be suppressed as the “fruit of the poisonous tree” a legal doctrine that requires evidence tainted by unlawful police conduct to be suppressed. In addition, Mr. Tilem cited the case of People v. DeBour which controls under what circumstances a police officer may stop, frisk, search and detain a person they encounter on the street.

New York Criminal defense lawyers Peter Tilem & Peter Tilem continue their radio show entitled “Law Talk” tonight at 8 pm on the Centanni Broadcasting Network. Tonight’s topic is “Everything You Wanted To Know About the Prostitution Business (but were afraid to ask)” The show should be very interesting and informative and follow the general format of past shows except that Law Talk is scheduled to have its first guest ever joining lawyers Peter Tilem and Peter Tilem on the air tonight.

Please tune in tonight live at 8pm or listen on demand by clicking here Listen Live.

As always, if there is a topic you want to here discussed on the air or you want a question answered live, e-mail the question to

New York Prostitution lawyers are watching a development reported in today’s New York Post which reflects a steep decrease in enforcement of prostitution and other vice offenses by the NYPD. The Post is reporting that the NYPD shut down its enforcement of Prostitution on craigslist as long as 3 years ago. The Post is also reporting that other vice operations have been shut down or slowed down because of increased oversight.

Craigslist has a large number of ads catering to adult entertainment. Many of the craigslist ads are for escorts. Escorts are women (or men) who agree to spend time with a person for a fee. While this practice is legal if sex is exchanged it can violate state or federal prostitution laws.

Criminal lawyers Peter Tilem and Peter Tilem operate a website which caters to the escort industry and represents, customers, escorts and escort agencies. Tilem & Campbell will continue to monitor these developments as they have a substantial impact on many Tilem & Campbell client’s

At the New York Criminal Defense firm of Tilem & Campbell we are seeing increased arrests for prostitution and prostitution related offenses. In addition, we are getting contacted by many women in the escort industry throughout the New York City Metropolitan area by way of our website who are concerned in the wake of the Elliot Spitzer scandal. One of the topics that we have been addressing with our clients is the issue of massage and massage related terms especially on websites. Many escorts, in an attempt to cover up the true nature of services being provided advertise relating to “intimate massages.” What we are seeing is that women in the escort industry are not aware that practicing the profession of massage without a license or advertising that a person is a masseuse constitutes a felony under the New York Education Law.

Under current New York State law, Prostitution in New York is a class “B” misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Under New York Education Law §7801 and §7802 Practice of Massage without a license constitutes the unlawful practice of a profession is a class “E” felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.

Terminology on a website advertising escort or massage services can be critical since merely using certain terms like “massage therapist”, “masseuse” or “massage” and other terms could subject a person the criminal liability. In the wake of the hysteria in the sex industry caused by the Elliot Spitzer scandal, the lawyers here at Tilem & Campbell have been reviewing and modifying websites for our clients to ensure that they are not inadvertently advertising illegal services or holding themselves out as unlicensed professionals. We are in the process of educating our clients so that they can be in compliance with the law. In addition, Peter Tilem & Peter Tilem have been drafting certain disclaimers to be added to websites so that it is clear that the website is not advertising illegal service.

As promised, here is a the video of New York Criminal Defense Attorney Peter Tilem commenting on the Governor Spitzer prostitution scandal.

As discussed in my previous post Peter Tilem, the managing partner here at the White Plains, New York law firm of Tilem & Campbell which owns the domain name was asked to comment on the scandal and specifically whether Governor Spitzer was likely to be charged. Please see below.

RNN, the Regional News Network just came by the office to get comments from Criminal Defense Lawyer Peter Tilem the managing partner here at the firm about the prostitution and Mann Act issues in which New York Governor Elliot Spitzer finds himself embroiled. The firm has handled numerous prostitution related cases and while John and I are often the “go to” lawyers here in Westchester County for the media to get their legal comments, it is nice to be able to comment on an issue with which we are so familiar.

Tilem & Campbell, PC owns the web domain name and has had the opportunity to represent clients in a wide variety of prostitution related cases that go far beyond simple prostitution. As such, John was a natural choice to comment on the Governor Spitzer situation.

John explained to RNN that while the Governor’s conduct may have technically violated the Mann Act, it is unlikely that he will be prosecute because customers also referred to as “Johns” (no pun is intended) are usually not prosecuted under the Mann Act. John explained that often, federal investigations often focus more on the organizers and managers and the prostitutes or customers.

Contact Information