UPDATE: Yup, Daddy is a trafficker. See article in the Gothamist on "Asian Fetish" pimp. The Gothamist still won't connect the dots in terms of coercive violence and child custody though.
That generic reporters are ignorant is bad enough. But this is a site that presumably caters to moms. And STILL the story is messed up entirely and treated as comic relief.
It's not funny in the slightest.
Read this carefully. Dad WILLIAM THOMAS apparently had CUSTODY of his two youngest kids (He had four altogether, with three different women.) We finally hear it mentioned--strictly in passing--that the non-custodial mother of the youngest child "appears to have left the family to move back to Japan for some reason." Appears?? You mean, you don't know for sure? And moved that far away "for some reason"? You mean, you don't know why? Lazy, lazy reporting.
Let's see. Dad runs four brothels and it appears that Mom is Japanese. It doesn't even occur to anybody that she may have been the victim of sex trafficking? Or violence? Daddy was already in arrears on child support, apparently for the older kids. He certainly had the motivation to strip this mother of her child and have her deported. Or fleeing back to her own country for her own personal safety. Really, nobody thinks a pimp is capable of such acts? That his "line of work" is merely embarrassing?
Apparently the Japanese woman is not the mother of the other child that lives with Daddy. We don't bother to find out anything about her. Another mom who just up and left the country "for some reason"?
And it doesn't even occur to anybody that these children are at high risk of sexual abuse and being trafficked themselves?
Dad of 4 Arrested for Being a Pimp Is Most Embarrassing Parent on the Planet
Posted by Adriana Velez on October 23, 2012 at 2:14 PM
A Brooklyn father was arrested for running four brothels in New York City this month. Four, count 'em, four brothels. I know we like entrepreneurs in this country, but wow ... William Thomas lived a quiet life with his two youngest kids in an apartment across from a leafy park in a middle-class neighborhood. His arrest came as a huge surprise to everyone who knew him.
Thomas is the father of four kids by three different mothers: A 1-year-old, a 3-year-old, and two teens. I feel for all these kids, but especially for Thomas' teenagers. They're old enough to know what "brothel" means. Did they have a clue that their dad, a former IT specialist who started out in a nice, big house in the 'burbs, was allegedly a pimp?
"Awesome dad! way to make the thomas family proud," the New York Post reports Thomas' 11th-grade son tweeted. "Pretty surreal to hear your dad’s name on the news in connection to a massive prostitution ring bust. had to happen eventually i guess #meh," he added. I guess it's legal to republish the tweets of a minor who is not a public figure -- honestly, it kind of makes me squirm, which is why I'm not linking back to his Twitter account or mentioning his first name. But these quotes say it all: The sarcastic bravado used to cloak a kid's shame and embarrassment.
Thomas has already been through two divorces, and the mother of his youngest child appears to have left the family to move back to Japan for some reason. Who knows how a guy gets into the brothel biz. But it's got to be humiliating for the two oldest kids to have their dad tied with a prostitution ring.
Whether or not you think prostitution should be legalized, it's still a profession with sleazy reputation, and even in liberal New York City, it would carry a stigma. On top of that, their dad has been accused of a crime. Of course, it could turn out that the police have the wrong guy! Thomas may be totally innocent of the charges.
But for now his poor kids have to live in the shadow of this alleged crime, and that sucks for them. I'm sure Thomas was justifying what he did in order to support his family (-ish, the Post reports he was $100,000 behind in child support payments). But I wish he'd thought about the potential emotional impact on his kids if he ever got caught.
How do you think William Thomas' kids feel right now?