Philadelphia Criminal Law News

Tix for Sex: Susan Finkelstein Not Guilty of Prostitution

Two years ago, Phillies' fan Susan Finkelstein placed an ad on Craigslist looking to buy World Series tickets. But Finkelstein wasn't looking to pay with money. Instead, when an undercover cop responded to her ad, Finkelstein allegedly offered to pay with sex.

After her 2010 trial, Finkelstein was convicted of attempted prostitution. The woman appealed, and earlier this week the Superior Court of Pennsylvania overturned the prostitution charge, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In the original ad, Finkelstein posted: "Diehard Phillies fan--gorgeous tall buxom blonde--in desperate need of two World Series tickets. Price negotiable -- I'm the creative type! Maybe we can help each other!" reports the Journal.

The undercover cop replied to the ad and Finkelstein sent back three topless photos. After several more emails, Finkelstein basically indicated that she didn't plan to pay for the tickets with money and was offering something else. When the two met, Finkelstein was arrested and eventually convicted of attempted prostitution.

In Pennsylvania, prostitution generally means that someone engages in sexual activity as a business or spends time in public for the purpose of being hired for sex.

In this case, the court said that Susan Finkelstein's ad amounted to "private illicit sexual relations" but not prostitution. The court apparently made a distinction on what was "an open commercial sex trade" and found that the single Craigslist ad did not amount to a commercial activity.

So it seems that in Pennsylvania someone can agree to have sex for something of value, so long as that person does not it make it a habit.

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