Chalk this up to "things I did not know." It turns out the prostitution is legal in Rhode Island as long as it's done behind closed doors:
The “spa’’ is among more than 40 operations in Rhode Island that act as thinly-veiled brothels, according to law enforcement and groups that monitor the spa business. The spas are well known and largely untouchable by police and prosecutors because state law permits prostitution so long as it takes place discreetly, outside public view.Well, there's at least one business that's doing well. Still, I don't recall this ever coming up on "Providence."
Prostitution has flourished in Rhode Island, and the state has the distinction - a dubious one, many say - of being the only state in the nation to permit what is often referred to as indoor prostitution, a phrase that distinguishes it from streetwalkers’ solicitations.