March 26, 1995 in Nation/World

Not All Hooked On Title-Chasing Prostitute

Associated Press

Some folks in this old frontier mining town couldn’t care less that Jessi Winchester, a grandmother and wife of an adoring husband, is a $500-an-hour prostitute.

It does raise a few eyebrows, however, now that she’s competing for the title of “Mrs. Nevada.”

Winchester, 52, had already been named “Mrs. Virginia City” in a statewide competition conducted by mail. That qualified her for a “Mrs. Nevada International” pageant scheduled April 21-22 in Las Vegas. Promoters say her profession, legal in parts of Nevada, apparently doesn’t violate pageant rules.

Critics complain that she’s tarnishing the image of Virginia City, a tourist town of 700 about 20 miles south of Reno.

“I think it’s drawing the wrong kind of publicity,” Comstock Chronicle columnist Brandi Lee said. “I’m not opposed to prostitution but I’m opposed to a married woman being a prostitute and representing Virginia City.”

Her backers say just the opposite.

“She represents what this town and Nevada is all about. That’s self-reliance, self-respect and independence,” said Winchester’s husband, Michael.

He works as an electrician while his wife works at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch.

Winchester, who has four grown children and two grandchildren, said she entered the pageant to prove “that ladies in my profession can be just as normal as women in other fields.”

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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