Randall Tobias, Director of US Foreign Assistance and Adminstrator of the Agency for International Development (USAID), has resigned after admitting that he had used a DC escort service. Tobias, the Bush Administration’s former “AIDS Czar,” is responsible for a highly criticized US policy requiring recipients of US foreign aid to sign a pledge against prostitution. The pledge effectively prevented the organizations from working with sex workers to teach HIV/AIDS prevention. Tobias was also known for promoting faithfulness and abstinence over condom use as effective means to end the AIDS epidemic.
“Tobias vigorously defended and enforced Administration policies’ which contradict public health evidence and undermine basic human rights,” said Jodi Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Health and Gender Equity. “That Tobias himself would be found in violation of both policies would be amusing if the effects of these policies on the lives of real people at risk of infection, stigma and discrimination in Africa, Asia, and Latin America were not so deadly.”
Facing charges of running a prostitution ring, Deborah Jeane Palfrey — known as the “DC Madam” — maintains that she ran a “legal, high-end erotic fantasy service” that did not prostitute women, the Associated Press reports. In order to produce witnesses for her legal defense, she turned over phone records to ABC News, hoping that the news channel would “out” past clients for her who would support her claims that no prostitution occurred.
ABC interviewed Tobias, who said that he used the escort service “only to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage,” the Los Angeles Times reports. He continued, saying that “no sex” was involved, and that he has stopped using Palfrey’s service in favor of one “with Central American gals.”