Russian legislator declares war on ‘brothels’ with sex dolls

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MOSCOW – Brothels where “girls” cannot say no to customers, or say they are tired, have opened their doors all over the world in recent years.

Such brothels have even appeared in countries where prostitution is illegal. The emergence of one of these establishments left a member of the regional assembly of the Leningrad region in doubt whether they should be legal in Russia.

Vladimir Petrov, a deputy from the region’s legislative body, has drafted a bill aimed at banning establishments that have robots and sex dolls.

He said that some entrepreneurs in the region asked if this type of business was legal in Russia amid reports that many such houses have been opened in several European countries.

The entrepreneurs then questioned the municipal authorities, but the authorities failed to clarify the situation. After that, the same question was redirected to the regional assembly. This has revealed some weaknesses in the legislation, because there is no article on this issue in the Russian Penal Code, Petrov says.

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Petrov stressed that it does not matter if the client uses sex dolls or has sex with humans, such a facility remains a brothel and should be banned. According to the legislator, these activities should be banned regardless of the level of technical equipment of potential offenders.

The bill proposes that people who provide such services, organizing brothels with dolls and sex robots, should be punished. Under the proposal, offenders could be fined up to $1,940, sentenced to two years of community service or imprisoned for an equal period of time.

News of the bill came as soon as it opened one of these brothels in St. Petersburg. One of these doll houses has already started operating in Moscow in 2018.

In recent years, sex doll houses have appeared in many countries all over the world, including USA, Japan, Denmark, France and several other countries.

The legal foundation of Petrov’s proposal however, is shaky to say the least. As it does not involve actual prostitution, which clearly is defined in the Russian legal code as involving two or more people in such a quid pro quo type exchange, it is not clear that this legislation will withstand scrutiny.

Critics have also pointed to what appears to be a relative lax approach to enforcement on actual brothels, leading to suspicions that actual brothel owners – madams and pimps – may be in fact supportive of this legislation.

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