83-Year-Old Accused of Prostitution Isn't Worth the Jokes

Ben Clifford DawsonSometimes you just know what's coming, and that's not a good thing. When I read that an 83-year-old man was charged with prostitution, I guessed the jokes would follow. Because prostitutes are supposed to look like Julia Roberts, not your Grandpa Phil. But that doesn't make them any easier to stomach.

Ben Clifford Dawson is indeed an octogenarian, and it seems he's the classic dirty old man. Police say he told a 33-year-old woman that he would reduce the amount she owed him for a $7,000 loan made this past spring if she would allow him to perform sexual acts on her. 

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Melissa Drew also claims Dawson grabbed her and kissed her against her will, which has earned him a charge of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. And the police report mentions three other women who have reported similar situations with Dawson when they were his tenants (although he was never charged in those situations).

All of which makes NBC Miami's jokes about Dawson being no Fred Garvin -- the male prostitute of Saturday Night Live fame -- and folks on The Smoking Gun website calling him their hero pretty disgusting.

This is a man accused of sexually abusing a woman and trying to essentially blackmail her into having sex with him who we're talking about here. If he were 23 or even 43, we'd be calling him everything but a not very nice person. So why do a bunch of wrinkles and eligibility for an AARP card give him a pass? Because he doesn't look like Julia Roberts?

It's true, Dawson may not look like the typical offender, but the fact that a woman feels like she's been sexually abused doesn't make me laugh. It makes me want to cry.

Do the words 83-year-old prostitute make you giggle?


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