Journalism

Melissa is a senior staff reporter covering criminal justice at The Appeal. She has been a contributing writer at the Village Voice and Pacific Standard, and her reporting and criticism has also appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, the New York Review of Books, and The Nation, among others.

The Latest

You can get updates on all of Melissa’s recent reporting on this website’s blog.

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Select Features

The New Orleans Police Raid That Launched a Dancer Resistance
The Appeal
May 30, 2018

7 Sex Workers On What It Means To Lose Backpage
The Cut
April 10, 2018

Broken Covenant: A Homeless Youth Organization’s Assault on Trafficking Is Making Women More Vulnerable
The Appeal
January 22, 2018

Family, Former Attorney of Queens Woman Who Fell To Her Death In A Vice Sting Say She Was Sexually Assaulted, Pressured to Become An Informant
The Appeal
December 15, 2017

ICE Is Using Prostitution Courts to Stalk Immigrants
The Village Voice
July 18, 2017

The NYPD Arrests Women for Who They Are and Where They Go — Now They’re Fighting Back
The Village Voice
November 22, 2016

An Escort Killed Her Client In Self-Defense — Then Came The Aftermath
BuzzFeed News
March 30, 2016

How Stoya took on James Deen and broke the porn industry’s silence
The Guardian
December 5, 2015

Select Criticism

The Unsexy Truth About Harassment
The New York Review of Books
December 8, 2017

Women’s Right to Refuse
Pacific Standard
March 7, 2017

A Life’s Work: How internal conflict fuels feminism
Bookforum
Feb/Mar 2017

IX Lives: Two books disagree on campus rape and the stakes of telling stories
Bookforum
Dec/Jan 2016

A Woman’s Right to Regret
Pacific Standard
June 26, 2016

All Bodies, No Selves
Pacific Standard
April 28, 2016

The Price of a Sex-Slave Rescue Fantasy
The New York Times
May 29, 2014

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In Campaign Holds Little For Most Women
The Washington Post
February 25, 2013

Girl Geeks and Boy Kings
Dissent
Winter 2013