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Editor’s note: The below article contains graphic descriptions of sexual acts, and may be offensive to some readers.
Susanna Gibson, a candidate for the Virginia statehouse who solicited money from people online for her to perform sex acts on video with her husband, may have violated Virginia’s prostitution law, two attorneys in the state told The Daily Wire.
Virginia law states that “any person who, for money or its equivalent … engages in sexual intercourse” or other sexual acts with another person “is guilty of prostitution, which is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.”
Shawn M. Cline, a former prosecutor and defense attorney in Virginia Beach who represents people charged with sex crimes, said in his view it’s a “chargeable offense.”
“The statute is very clear, you cannot for money or its equivalent perform sex acts,” Cline told The Daily Wire. “It doesn’t matter who’s paying for the act, if it’s an observer or the recipient. You can’t receive money.”
“It would definitely be a chargeable offense,” Cline said.
In the videos that were initially streamed on Chaturbate, Gibson states that she’s raising money for a “good cause,” and asks viewers to send her “tokens” to perform certain sex acts or even to urinate on camera. “Y’all can watch me pee if you tip me and some tokens,” Gibson can be heard saying in the graphic videos. “Again, I’m raising money for a good cause.”
The website of the law firm ScrofanoLaw, which defends Virginians charged with sex crimes, says “Virginia is among the most stringent states when it comes to prosecuting prostitution crimes” and that “the definition of prostitution, according to § 18.2-346 of the Virginia Law Code applies to any person who, for money or its equivalent, agrees to participate in sexual acts.”
Gretchen Taylor Pousson, a former public defender in Virginia who is now a defense attorney with ScrofanoLaw, said she thinks Gibson violated the statute “because the token would be equivalent to money. And she is actually performing these acts upon another person.”
In one video, Gibson described a plan to trick hotel employees into seeing her naked against their will, in order to get a sexual thrill for herself and her viewers.
“Tell him I want a bottle and have them bring it into the room and we’ll be naked and they can all watch. It’s gonna be great. I’m definitely a slut,” she said. “In order to leave the door cracked I need 500 tokens from 10 of y’all. 10. Otherwise not worth it. Don’t get me kicked out from my favorite hotel y’all.”
Pousson said that could violate statutes such as indecent exposure. That statute covers someone who “intentionally makes an obscene display of her person in any public place or place where others are present.”
“I think it would be. It would all depend on how the court determines a ‘place where others are present,’ but given that she caused them to come in, I think that could easily be argued by the Commonwealth,” Pousson told The Daily Wire.
Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon L. Taylor, who like Gibson is a Democrat, did not return a request for comment asking if her office was considering charges against Gibson.
Less than twenty minutes after Taylor’s office read The Daily Wire’s email, Gibson’s attorney, Daniel Watkins, called to say he had learned that The Daily Wire was working on a story through a source he would not disclose. He declined to comment on the record.
Taylor did not respond to a followup request on whether she had alerted Gibson.
The videos she streamed to Chaturbate took place throughout September 2022, shortly after she launched her House of Delegates campaign. The last one on that platform was posted on September 30, meaning the statute of limitations would expire in two weeks.
Gibson has not dropped out of the race since her video exploits were exposed by The Washington Post, The Daily Wire, and other media on Monday. The leader of the Virginia Senate, Democrat L. Louis Lucas, said the behavior by Gibson was all the more reason to give her money — and without evidence, accused Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) of somehow being involved.
Today Glenn Youngkin’s team leaked videos of @SusannaSGibson to try to embarrass and humiliate her and they failed completely.
Now we are going to make this the biggest fundraising day of her campaign.
Retweet and donate here:https://t.co/LrP5VhDsb1
— L. Louise Lucas (@SenLouiseLucas) September 11, 2023
Many Democrats said that the scandal amounted to nothing precisely because, they asserted, her conduct had not crossed the line of criminality.
In other news, Susanna Gibson did nothing illegal and Republicans are condoning revenge porn. Also hilarious considering the person they are going to nominate for President was found liable for sexual abuse.
Totally fine for today's GOP https://t.co/ssq2OHQHGF
— Michael A (@PoliticsMichael) September 12, 2023
She had consensual sex with her husband. Nothing she did was illegal. What is illegal, on the other hand, is the GOP operative who brought this to your attention in order for you all to disseminate revenge porn. pic.twitter.com/GAGQM6uq4g
— Maya Contreras (@mayatcontreras) September 11, 2023
Gibson has called the act of posting the videos she herself posted for the world to see “an illegal invasion of my privacy.”
The New York Times characterized it as a “leak,” even though news outlets were only informing readers of her conduct, not linking to the videos.
Gibson posted her videos to a site where she had more than 5,700 followers. She said in the videos that she wanted as large of an audience as possible, saying “And I love that they’re all watching me getting f—-ed right now and it turns me the hell on…. Yeah I want to see you on Checkmates too.”
In exchange for her performing specific sex acts, she solicited monetary “tokens” from viewers, where 100 tokens is worth approximately $5. “Y’all can watch me pee if you tip me and some tokens,” she said. “Again, I’m raising money for a good cause.”
Correspondence viewed by The Daily Wire shows the Associated Press was tipped off about the pornographic content on September 5, but chose not to do anything with the story. It did, however, make Gibson aware of the videos, which she appears to have had taken down in the days after the Associated Press alerted her that they had been discovered.
The outlet did not cover the videos until September 12, after it had already been reported by others.