A sex worker has accused a police force of turning her away because of her job history.
Lisa Lewis has worked as an escort and an online content creator but decided to change her career and move to Darwin, Australia, from New Zealand.
She had the idea after watching an interview with the Northern Territories Police Commissioner Mr Murphy as he appealed for new recruits to help the area tackle a crime wave in Alice Springs.
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“Anyone who wants to come and join us, please come and put an application in online,” he said.
But after taking up the call and heading to Darwin only to be rejected for her “declared history”, she has accused the force of discrimination.
The Australian reports that her complaint could become a test case for laws banning discrimination against people banned from jobs because of careers in the sex industry.
Lewis had reached the point in the application where she had had her fingerprints taken, handed over identification documents, driving record and medical history as well as details of “declarable associates” and her criminal history.
She declared two incidents – one of which was a famous streak onto a rugby pitch as the New Zealand All Blacks played in 2006 while wearing a bikini and a common assault charge in 2012 – a “simple offence” NT police said would not be enough to bar someone from entry to the force.
But she later received a call informing her that her “unique profession” would be a barrier to entry.
When asked if she was currently a sex worker she said that she was – it is not illegal in Australia or New Zealand.
She said that she did it to survive and would quit had she been accepted as a police officer.
Then, on July 27 she received a letter from Professional Standards Command saying that she had been rejected and was banned from applying for five years.
Brendan Muldoon wrote in the letter: “As a result of your declared history, the panel has determined that your application is unsuccessful.
“Furthermore, you have been excluded from applying for a position with the Northern Territory Police Force until 27/07/2028, this being five years from the date of the determination.”
Speaking to the Australian, Lewis said: “I've always been a loud and proud sex worker.
“It's a legal job, I pay more tax than most New Zealanders. I've only just moved here and I don't have anything to be embarrassed about.”
She slammed NT police and said it had no right “to discriminate under moral principles”.
“I just want to ensure the NT police are held accountable for their actions … if they have a history of rejecting sex workers, maybe they should think twice about it.”
The Daily Star has contacted Northern Territory Police for comment.
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