Canada's prostitution laws challenged

Oct. 5, 2009 at 12:04 PM

TORONTO, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- A Toronto dominatrix and two other sex workers say they have launched a constitutional challenge to Canada's prostitution laws.

Terri-Jean Bedford, 49, who specializes in sexual discipline fantasies, told Monday's Toronto Star she might bring her riding crop to a hearing for the landmark case set to begin this week, saying, "You never know when you might run across a naughty boy, or a naughty judge."

The Star reported that Bedford, along with prostitutes Valerie Scott, 51, and Amy Lebovitch, 30, are asking Ontario's Superior Court of Justice to find unconstitutional the Criminal Code provisions that underpin Canada's response to prostitution.

Legal experts say the trio are basing their case on arguments that laws against keeping a bawdy house force them from the safety of their homes out onto the streets, where they can become victims of violence.

Ottawa provincial officials, as well as religious and conservative groups, have intervened in the case in support of upholding Canada's current prostitution laws, the Star said.

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