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Woman charged with running prostitution business awaits verdict

Posted: July 29, 2013 - 8:18pm

Closing arguments were presented to a 12-person Kenai Superior Court Jury Monday in a case seeking to convict a woman on prostitution charges and seven counts of various sex trafficking crimes.

The state alleges Karen L. Carpenter, 50, ran a business and induced two other women to perform sexual acts for money, of which she received a payment cut.

The seven counts of sex trafficking include; inducing a person younger than 20 to engage in prostitution; running a prostitution enterprise; soliciting a patron for prostitution; running a place of prostitution; inducing a person over 20 to engage in prostitution; accepting proceeds derived from prostitution and facilitating a prostitution enterprise.

All counts, including the prostitution charge, are felony charges.

Assistant District Attorney Angela Garay said Carpenter ran the business based on evidence that she paid the bills, made the appointments and bought the supplies. The state also alleges Carpenter placed advertisements for her business, Gifted Hands, online and received cuts of money from each appointment.

Garay told the jury Carpenter caused two women, Madison Murrieta, 19 at the time of the investigation, and Jonah Lange, 20 at the time of the investigation, to become prostitutes.

“Ms. Carpenter brought (Murrieta) into her business and provided everything she needed to have sex for money,” Garay said. … “Ms. Carpenter caused her to be a prostitute, induced her to be a prostitute. That’s not what she was doing before. Before she was working at Wal-Mart.”

Lange previously worked with animals and would not have broken the law if it had not been for Carpenter’s influence, Garay said.

Lange testified against Carpenter at the trial. Murrieta did not testify in the case.

“Because (Murrieta) didn’t testify, we don’t know what caused her to engage in prostitution if she did that,” William Taylor, public defender for Carpenter said. “For all (the jury knows) Ms. Murrieta had been engaging in prostitution for years.

According to a complaint filed by Kenai Police, Carpenter informed an undercover officer her business provided massages and companionship packages. According to police, clients could decide how to spend their companionship purchased time — including engaging in various types of sexual activities.

“(The jury has) heard how naive Karen Carpenter is,” Carpenter’s public defender William Taylor said. “Karen is not a pimp. … She thought that by saying you’re only paying for my time and not sexual contact got her around the prostitution laws.”

Taylor said Carpenter did not change her prices based on different sexual acts.

“This is not a naive person,” Garay said. “This is a person who is scheming to get around the law. Ignorance of the law is no defense. … She was scheming to get around being caught. … She thought that this little language about not paying for the sex acts, just paying for time, this was her scheme to cover up to get away with what she’d been doing.”

Two other women were charged with prostitution in relation to this case.

Lange pleaded guilty and accepted a plea agreement with the state on May 29, part of the deal was that Lange testify against Carpenter. Murrieta is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 15. Both are out of custody.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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akdave
37
Points
akdave 07/30/13 - 02:46 pm
0
3
Lange

One of my kids went to school with Jonah and even in Junior high and high school she had a hard time keeping things to herself, as it were. We're not suprised that she would do something like this, given her high school track record for being far too open with the boys.

beaverlooper
3072
Points
beaverlooper 07/30/13 - 03:44 pm
2
1
legalize it.

Prostitution should be legal,regulated, taxed and medical exams required on a regular basis (weekly?).

kenairiverbandit
65
Points
kenairiverbandit 07/31/13 - 05:20 am
0
1
Caused them to do this huh?

Caused them to do this huh? So she held a gun to their heads? NO, she provided an illegal means to make some money and they didn't say no. It is amazing to me how we as a society have evolved.

AKlass
25
Points
AKlass 07/31/13 - 08:48 am
1
1
Here's a concept...Supply & Demand!

Instead of putting the blame solely on these women, why don't we make the men and/or women paying for sex accountable as well!!! None of us know what these women have been through in their lives to bring them to a point where selling their bodies seemed like a good idea. Childhood trauma including sexual and physical abuse are huge factors in risky, promiscuous actions both as teens and adults. I'm not saying these women shouldn't be held accountable for their actions because they all made the choice to break the law. However, as long as there are people who are willing to pay for sex, there will always be people who are willing to get paid for sex. I believe it's called supply and demand!

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 07/31/13 - 01:49 pm
2
1
World's Oldest Profession

7/31/13 So What is the Problem here ? This is the World's Oldest Profession & sex between 2 consenting Adults ?

Why is this any of our business ?

SPW

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 07/31/13 - 02:24 pm
1
0
What about the Johns and the Jills?

Of course no johns will be named because they are most likely someone everybody knows and would be shocked. Of course!

Covering for the johns has been a constant whenever one of these busts goes down.Parade the Ladies and camophlage the men! Why? Because they are men of "power" that we probably trust. I call BS on that and class action civil suit should be brought by all the whores in Alaska that have been busted.

jlmh
352
Points
jlmh 07/31/13 - 07:41 pm
0
1
Eww! Because it's a public

Eww! Because it's a public health issue, that's why it's society's business, spwright.

Weekly health checks wouldn't solve that problem. Daily ones wouldn't either. It takes six months to get a positive HIV test, for instance. Imagine how much disease could spread in that amount of time.

"Two consenting adults" meeting in a social situation is much different than a business, which could host a high volume of exchanges before disease is detected. California's bath houses were the initial source of HIV proliferation in the 1980s and had to be shut down for public health reasons. Do we really want to commercialize such a venue?

robert white
378
Points
robert white 07/31/13 - 08:53 pm
0
0
prostitution

What's the difference between a politician, who has a 1.5 million campaign war chest and a prostitute. One's going to jail and the other is a neutered lap dog! WE LOOSE!!!

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 08/01/13 - 07:00 am
0
0
Eww !

8/1/13 You may want to up-date your info ? There are now instant H I V Test available at any pharmacy with immediate results available. Ask your Teenagers, they already know this. Hookers are very aware of STD & HIV & are Tested often.
This is the World's Oldest Profession, it's been here since the beginning of time & will be here long after we are dead & buried.
Again WHY is this any of our business ? SPW

AKlass
25
Points
AKlass 08/01/13 - 08:08 am
0
0
Yes it is our business!!!

There are rapid HIV tests available. However it can take up to 6 months for HIV to show up in testing which is why it is recommended to get tested 6 months after initial exposure. It's not a virus that always immediately tests positive. More worrisome than HIV in our community is Hep C and Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. I think it is our concern because the people paying for sex then go home to their wives, girlfriends, and God forbid, sometimes their kids, and "share" their take home present. People that pay for sex have issues and they're not just sleeping with prostitutes. So damn straight it is our business when these sick perverts pass their diseases on to innocent people, especially children. There is a sick element of perversion in our little community and people better wake up and realize what these sexual predators are doing to our most innocent community members, the children.

beaverlooper
3072
Points
beaverlooper 08/01/13 - 08:34 am
1
0
ever hear of a condom?

I say sex for free is more of a health issue than sex for money,all of the diseases mentioned above are preventable with condoms.I would be willing to bet the percentage of prostitutes that insist on protection is far higher than couples that meet in a bar (for instance) and "hook up".
Sex for money WILL happen.Address the issue or stick your head in the sand but it WILL happen.

AKlass
25
Points
AKlass 08/01/13 - 08:48 am
0
0
The real issue is

These people don't care enough to wear condoms. And condoms break. No STI is 100% preventable unless you don't have sex. I don't give a darn about the promiscuous ADULT idiots out there. You missed the point of my comment. It's some of these perverts are performing sexual acts with CHILDREN. And trust me a condom is not on their mind. Go ahead and stick your head in the sand but it is our business when these perverts have unprotected sex and then pass their disease on to innocent children. My God, one of these prostitutes is only 19. A child is under the age of 18. So she must've started in this highly esteemed "World's oldest business" a while ago! I don't give a darn about "consenting adults". But if you think it's always consensual and always is between adults, you're a fool.

beaverlooper
3072
Points
beaverlooper 08/01/13 - 09:02 am
0
0
since when

Since when did going to a prostitute and raping children become the same thing?

beaverlooper
3072
Points
beaverlooper 08/01/13 - 09:13 am
0
0
and by the way

And by the way what is a STI?

AKlass
25
Points
AKlass 08/01/13 - 09:39 am
0
0
STI=sexually transmitted infection

STD is an outdated term. I work in healthcare and that term hasn't been used in awhile.

To answer your first question, do you really think someone paying for sex is looking for "vanilla" sex? And do you for one minute believe people that pay for sex are doing it for a reason other than power and control. I know there are cute stories in Hollywood that romanticize prostitution like "Pretty Woman" but if people think that's what prostutuon is, then they're sadly mistaken. Sex trafficking is a hideous and perverse business. The women, children, and men involved usually have histories of serious childhood trauma. Generally, the people paying for sex are perverse sick individuals. So yes, someone who has to pay for his or her perverse "pleasure" will most definitely not balk at raping a child because that's the epitome of perversion and they don't have to pay when they can rape for free. Do some research. Most prostitutes are victims of child hood sexual abuse. So do I think an industry that glorifies in the continual victimization of these people is ok? Hell no! These people don't feel they have worth, and oftentimes think their only value lies in their body. So they are easy targets, often homeless and/or runaways, and are easily drawn into that lifestyle.

But hey, if you think there's nothing perverse about a grown man paying to have sex with a hooker, that's your right. This is America. Land of the free. Home of the perverse and those who aren't brave enough to take a stand.

spwright
1376
Points
spwright 08/01/13 - 11:27 am
0
0
8/1/13 Once again, This is

8/1/13 Once again, This is Sex between 2 consenting Adults that voluntarily participate. This is None of Our Business.
Rant all that You want, the World's Oldest Profession will still be here long after We are Gone. SPW

jlmh
352
Points
jlmh 08/01/13 - 01:58 pm
0
0
So what if it's old?

Yes, and murder, theft, and drug abuse are also ancient human behaviors that will be here long after we're gone too. So what's your point? We still prosecute them and try to reduce their occurrence, because they all have personal and social consequences. Prostitution has huge social consequences, including disease, funding drug addictions and all the crime and lost productivity associated with that, creating a market for human trafficking. As for disease, there is always an incubation period in which a person is contagious but doesn't yet know. HIV has a particularly long incubation period. Condoms don't protect against all of them (herpes, lice) and would be difficult to enforce. And unfortunately, "two consenting adults" aren't the only victims, as we saw with the proliferation of HIV beyond patrons of the bath houses, and with unsuspecting spouses, etc.

beaverlooper
3072
Points
beaverlooper 08/01/13 - 02:15 pm
0
0
aklass

You make a lot of assumptions based on how you think the world should be . You also have a right to your own opinion right or wrong and a lot of it is wrong."So yes, someone who has to pay for his or her perverse "pleasure" will most definitely not balk at raping a child", what a load of crap. People pay for sex because they're horny ,they don't want a relationship,or because sex for money is a lot cheaper than sex for free.Prostitution is not just between strangers,there are plenty of housewives that won't have sex with their husbands unless they get something they want. That's legal but it's still prostitution.

AKlass
25
Points
AKlass 08/01/13 - 03:17 pm
0
1
Jaded much beaverlooper?

I work in a career where I see the effects of "the world's oldest profession" and the devastation it brings upon families and children on a daily basis. Don't assume I don't know what I'm talking about because I know more than I ever wanted to. Perhaps if you could open your eyes to the true ugliness of prostitution instead of blaming it on wives who don't sleep with their husband's you could see the bigger picture. I am well aware the only way some men can get sex is if they pay for it. And then it's a business transaction between "2 consenting adults" as you and spwright claim. But that's the rare side of prostitution. However you and spwright are correct when you say it's been around since the beginning of time and will be around long after we are all dead and buried. But that doesn't make it right. Murder has been around that long too but I'm sure you'll have an argument for that. According to your theory, I am thinking that perhaps if husbands loved their wives as Christ loved the Church and married women who are worthy and don't use sex as a weapon, prostitution would go away? Wrong! Because prostitution will thrive as long as people want to act out on their perverse fantasies. I'm not going back and forth with you because I want to change your mind. Because that's never going to happen. I'm just hoping one person might read everyone's comments and see the bigger picture. You bet I'm all about minimal government involvement. But when children's futures are on the line, there needs to be accountability and no glossing over the ugly facts.

beaverlooper
3072
Points
beaverlooper 08/01/13 - 04:02 pm
0
0
Because I think prostitution

Because I think prostitution should be legal I condone child rape and murder?
I work (on the recovery side)with alcoholics and prescription drug addicts and I will assure you that ,even though they are legal they are the cause of more of pain ,heartache and destruction than prostitution ever will.
Sorry lady you can't legislate morals.

AKlass
25
Points
AKlass 08/01/13 - 04:34 pm
1
1
So you're telling me

So you're telling me you've never come across someone who prostituted themselves to support their habit? And you think, as someone who helps addicts recover, that people should be able to pay them for sex to help support their habit? I guess we've all got to have job security. If other people who "help" addicts recover share your views, no wonder rehab is a waste of government resources and time with such a high rate of relapse. I'm not trying to legislate morals. I'm trying to point out that prostitution is just one of many symptoms of the real problem. But as long as people feel the need to justify their behavior things will never change.

ptzsr1
360
Points
ptzsr1 08/02/13 - 04:25 pm
1
1
Prostitution is exploitation

Prostitution is exploitation of the human being. It is degrading, dehumanizing, transmits disease, and corrupts everyone involved including the community at large.

ptzsr1
360
Points
ptzsr1 08/02/13 - 04:29 pm
1
0
Prostitution is exploitation

This woman is a cynical manipulator of the people who worked for her.

Seafarer
1147
Points
Seafarer 08/03/13 - 10:45 am
0
0
Good Customers

You men in here defending prostitution sure must be good customers. Do your wives know what you do when she's not looking?

Women fly when men aren't looking. Men pervert when women aren't looking. When will you finally start to evolve? You've been devolving for centuries.

beaverlooper
3072
Points
beaverlooper 08/03/13 - 04:25 pm
0
0
to tell the truth.

To tell the truth I don't care if prostitution is legal or not, it was just an opinion,I don't go to them. I just believe that when there's consensual sex between two adults the government and self righteous old biddies should just butt out.But then I lived in Alaska when it was a live and let live state .We never even had to lock our doors the first 20 years I lived here.It was a lot safer, friendlier place and neighbor helped neighbor.This was a lot better place to live when there were more bars than there were churches.Those days are gone ,people here now seem to have the need to have me believe what they believe and if I don't I'm an evil, perverted threat to society and need to move somewhere else.

Suss
3905
Points
Suss 08/03/13 - 06:08 pm
1
0
Gender issue

"You Men" maybe, maybe not, but somebody has a problem with men and trust..."Men pervert when women aren't looking". I cannot speak for all men but I don't think you speak the truth about anyone I know.

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 08/10/13 - 02:58 pm
1
0
MAKE IT LEGAL AND TAX IT

MAKE IT LEGAL AND TAX IT

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 08/10/13 - 03:14 pm
0
0
SEAFARER

I CAN DEFEND PROSTITUTION AND NOT BE A CUSTOMER AT ALL BUT WHEN I WAS A YOUNG SEAFARER IN THE USN THAT WAS A DIFFERENT STORY IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH EXPLOYTATION

bob99507
361
Points
bob99507 08/12/13 - 06:18 pm
0
0
IF NO MONEY IS EXCHAGED THEN

IF NO MONEY IS EXCHAGED THEN IT IS OK RIGHT

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