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Fake News: Coast Guard Employee Did NOT Tell Cops She Was Forced Into Prostitution By Government Shutdown

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 10 Jan 2019 18:26:21 Z)

Did Coast Guard employee Marleen Freeman tell the cops who arrested her for prostitution that she was forced into it to cope with the effects of the recent government shutdown. No, that's not true: the story was made up by a Canadian entertainment website that makes a living by publishing fictional stories often involving weird crimes, bizarre sex acts or strange accidents and sometimes political topics. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on January 10, 2019 titled "Coast guard employee told cops she was forced into prostitution to cope with government shutdown" (archived here) which opened:

A Maine Coast Guard employee arrested during a prostitution sting operation last night claims she was forced into prostitution to pay her bills and feed her family because of the government shutdown.

Marleen Freeman, 38, a Coast Guard employee for the past 12 years, told South Portland police officers that the government shutdown left her with no other choice but to prostitute herself to put food on the table.

Freeman was also found in the possession of crystal meth, crack cocaine, anabolic steroids, PCP and methamphetamines which she also admitted to selling to take care of her unemployed husband as well as her three young children.

Screenshot of https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/coast-guard-employee-told-cops-she-was-forced-into-prostitution-to-cope-with-government-shutdown/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Coast guard employee told cops she was forced into prostitution to cope with government shutdown

A Maine Coast Guard employee arrested during a prostitution sting operation last night claims she was forced into prostitution to pay her bills and feed her family because of the government shutdown. Marleen Freeman, 38, a Coast Guard employee for the past 12 years, told South Portland police offic

But the woman pictured with the story was not a Coast Guard employee at all. Her name is also not Marleen Freeman but Adria Regn and she admitted to human trafficking in 2017:

Burlco woman admits luring teen into sex work

CLOSE Adria Regn of Mount Holly faces a five-year prison term when she's sentenced Jan. 5. She pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to facilitate human trafficking. Authorities say Regn and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Christopher White of Eastampton, lured the teen to a motel room in October, asking her to babysit Regn's two young children.

The website World News Daily Report is a well known satire website specialized in posting hoaxes and made up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run the satirical Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often their stories feature an image showing a random crazy mugshot found in a mugshot gallery on the internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

Articles from the site are frequently copied (sometimes even months or years later) by varous fake news websites that omit the satire disclaimer and present the information as real.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes worldnewsdailyreport.com as:

A website that publishes hoaxes and made-up stories that are often widely shared and mistaken for news.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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