It elicited giggles, but a Casper City Council member on Tuesday posed a legal question about whether users of a subscriber service featuring a lot of porn could face criminal charges in the proposed revised ordinance dealing with prostitution and human trafficking.

The revised ordinance, according to a memo from City Attorney John Henley, won't stop human trafficking but it would give law enforcement a way to investigate and prosecute it and prostitution.

This was the third reading before the ordinance would take effect.

But Kyle Gamroth saw a problem with it.

One section of the revised ordinance had language about "performance prostitution," Gamroth said.

"I was just curious, would that make somebody, like, if they were using an OnlyFans account or something to generate some revenue on the side, would that make that illegal," he asked. "You know, if they were using that sort of phone application? Because I would be very hesitant to support something that, you know, criminalized someone using an OnlyFans account to generate some money on the side."

Mayor Steve Freel asked Assistant City Attorney Wallace Trembath what he thought.

Trembath responded that he didn't know what OnlyFans was.

A woman not shown on the city's YouTube channel responded with one or two unintelligible words.

[Lots of giggles.]

Freel said he was glad he wasn't the only one who didn't know.

Gamroth saiid he's never used it, having been happily married for 10 years.

{Giggles.]

Although he's never seen it, Gamroth said he understands that OnlyFans is an app to "transmit video of yourself doing things and get money in return for that. I don't know what their stipulations are as a company; or an application of what you're allowed to do and what you're not allowed to do."

Regardless, Gamroth said his understanding of the revisions to the public decency ordinance could be broad enough to criminalize private interactions that don't involve a physical presence.

He does favor the ordinance's emphasis on dealing with sex trafficking and prostitution.

Freel asked Trembath about the problematic legal language and OnlyFans.

"Wow, this is a good one," Trembath said.

[Giggles.]

Gamroth had a point, Trembath said, "I actually think that definition (in the ordinance) would be that broad."

Freel suggested, and Trembath agreed, that language specifying a physical or "in person" presence should be included.

City Manager Carter Napier said Trembath could do more research to determine "what piece of verbiage would be necessary to not criminalize those opportunities for commerce."

[Giggles.]

Napier recommended putting off the third reading.

Vice Mayor Ray Pacheco proposed postponing the vote until the regular council meeting on Feb. 16.

 

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