One of the rarely discussed drawbacks of gay marriage being illegal, or unrecognized, in most states is that same-sex partners cannot invoke spousal privilege in criminal cases, which permits husbands and wives to choose not to take the stand against each other. (Unless, of course, they’re suing each other, as in a divorce.) But two men or two women in a relationship, no matter how committed, can theoretically be forced to testify about a partner’s murderous rampage, or embezzlement, or what have you. Except the case of New York strippers Cassandra Malandri and Falynn Rodriguez — who are charged with offering sex to an undercover cop for $5k in 2008, and face 90-day sentences — is putting the notion to the test.
Prosecutors want Malandri (aka porn star Alexia Moore) and Rodriguez to be forced to tattle on each other about what happened that night at NYC’s Big Daddy Lou’s Hot Lap Dance Club. But the pair claim they are lesbian lovers, and thus immune from forced testimony. Interestingly, the Manhattan district attorney’s office has subpoenaed an as-yet-anonymous boyfriend in an attempt to claim the pair are not lovers — which could send us down a whole lesbian-vs-bisexual rabbit hole. Which would make for interesting court proceedings! (Then again, the judge closed the court after the cop received an unrelated death threat.)
Both girls already rejected plea deals, as most of these cases wind up with, which would’ve included no punishment or community service, just a disorderly conduct conviction, which wouldn’t be on their criminal records — but only if the women admitted to being prostitutes.
No matter what happens, it’s an interesting interjection into the larger debate of gay marriage, and whether two strippers can somehow “prove” they are indeed committed lovers, and whether that even matters under the law.
Spousal privilege does not mean that one spouse can’t be forced to testify against the other. Spousal privilege means that one spouse may not be forced to reveal communications with the other spouse. Spouses may still be forced to testify as to the other spouse’s actions. So prosecutors may ask a spouse “did you witness your spouse stabbing the victim?” but not “did your spouse tell you he stabbed the victim?”
Why this is an issue in this case is beyond me. Since both women are charged, they may invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Of course that leaves the testimony of the undercover cop unchallenged.
One other thing: spousal privilege is defeated by the presence of a third party, so even if it is found these women have spousal privilege (it won’t be) the presence of the undercover cop defeats it.
I guess it’s just me, but on first glance of the provided pic, I thought it was an article on mickey rourke and his russian GF.
They are lesbian lovers? Sorry, girls, but I don’t believe you. I think you are disgusting creatures who are alleged to have prostituted your sexuality to satisfy the vulgar needs of a male. That doesn’t make you lesbians, honey. It means you are man-pleasing doormats who use your sexuality as a marketing ploy.
I think Jason hit the nail firmly on the head… “Women” like these make it hard for real Lesbians. The ones that don’t jump back and forth between men and women. They aren’t even truly bisexual because they play on the titillation factor to arouse brainless straight men into the tired and disgusting false notion that most gay women, or at least the really really “hot” ones, secretly want men and for them Lesbianism is just a sexual act. Real, Loving long term committed Lesbian relationships are not taken seriously and men act as if Lesbians, the so called hot ones anyway, are just waiting for the “right man” to come along, not intelligent to know or understand that for a real true Gay woman, there is no “right man”. It’s like the problem with the so called “Down Low” gay men in the black community. They give not only out, proud and secure gay black men a bad rap and hard time but they stain the LGBT community as a whole by not being honest. Thanks a bunch you twits, we have real gay men and women have to work twice as to undo the severe damage you idiots perpetrate on our community. You are not one of us! You never have been and you never will be. No wonder no one wants to take us, our lives, families, relationships and who we are as human beings serious. Okay I’m done ranting for the day carry on ladies…
I so agree with you. I think we in the gay community need to be careful about embracing bisexual women in particular. Many of them are simply bisexual for the purpose of picking up women to engage in threesomes with their demanding, straight boyfriends.
No way in the world should the GLBT community be embracing these man-pleasing doormats.
They should make them eat each other’s pussies in front of the judge while Maggie Gallagher observes and measures the amount of pleasure registered on the women’s faces.
It’s the only fair way.
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