Thursday, March 24, 1977

Chicken-Hawk Trade Found Attracting More Young Boys to Times Square Area

“The night was bitterly cold on Times Square. Prostitutes and other shady habitués had taken refuge indoors, and the gaudy lights and tawdry attractions of 42nd Street beckoned only to a few gawking tourists. Standing near a pinball emporium between 7th and 8th avenues, two plainclothes policemen watch for a thriving form of prostitution – involving “hawks,” men who pick up young boys and “chickens,” some as young as 10 years old. Many of the hawks are white, middle-class men who drive in from the suburbs. A policeman is not permitted to pose as a hawk – that is considered entrapment. As for posing as a chicken an officer said – “if we had some undercover cops who looked like teenagers, it would be a lot easier, but we don’t even have any young-looking cops, because they’ve all been laid off.” Hawks are rarely imprisoned. Usually they are allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and told to get psychiatric help.

NYT 3/24/77

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