Model State Provisions on Pimping, Pandering, and Prostitution

Explanatory Notes

These Model State Criminal Provisions are promulgated pursuant to Section 225 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA 2008). They are intended to serve as a resource to state and local jurisdictions to facilitate effective state and local enforcement of laws criminalizing pimping, pandering, prostitution, and commercial sex.

Virtually every jurisdiction has enacted laws criminalizing some form of such conduct, and criminal provisions vary considerably in their approaches to defining and penalizing this conduct. The U.S. Department of Justice (“the Department”) typically defers to state authorities regarding this area of traditional state and local enforcement, and the Model State Criminal Provisions are not intended to discourage innovations by state or local policymakers to strengthen enforcement based on local concerns. Nor is the Department of Justice advocating any particular legislative approach to criminalizing pimping, pandering, and prostitution—offenses traditionally enforced by state and local authorities.

Rather, pursuant to the TVPRA 2008, the Department offers these Model State Criminal Provisions for the consideration of state and local policymakers to be incorporated as they deem appropriate in their state criminal codes in order to facilitate effective enforcement of laws criminalizing pimping, pandering, prostitution, and related conduct. Pursuant to Section 225, which directs that the Model State Criminal Provisions be based in part on provisions of Chapter 27 of the Criminal Code of the District of Columbia, these model provisions incorporate aspects of that Chapter. The model provisions, in addition to criminalizing an array of commercial sex transactions, include prohibitions against the commercial sex exploitation of minors and against compelled or coerced commercial sex acts, both of which are also prohibited by federal anti-trafficking statutes and many state anti-trafficking statutes. The model provisions are intended to supplement, and not supplant, the development of such statutes.

State lawmakers should therefore consider the extent to which state pimping, pandering, and prostitution prohibitions overlap with any state anti-trafficking prohibitions and should consider the appropriate interplay between these distinct but closely interrelated sets of provisions, depending on the state’s criminal justice system; crime victims programs; the nature and prevalence of various forms of pimping, pandering, prostitution, and human trafficking crimes; and any other considerations particular to each relevant jurisdiction.

MODEL STATE CRIMINAL PROVISIONS ON PIMPING, PANDERING, AND PROSTITUTION
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BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ___________:

(A) TITLE _____, PENAL CODE, is amended by adding Article XXX to read as follows:

ARTICLE XXX: PIMPING, PANDERING, AND PROSTITUTION

SEC. XXX.01. DEFINITIONS. In this Article:

  1. “Arranging for prostitution” means any act to procure or otherwise make arrangements for the purpose of prostitution, or attempting to do so.

  2. “Domestic partner” shall have the same meaning as provided in [state statute defining domestic partner, if any].

  3. “Prostitution” means a sexual act or contact with another person in return for giving or receiving a fee or a thing of value.

  4. “Prostitution-related offenses” means those crimes and offenses defined in this act and in the acts cited in the lead-in language of this section.

  5. “Sexual act” means:

    1. The penetration, however slight, of the anus or vulva of another by a penis;

    2. Contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the vulva, or the mouth and the anus; or

    3. The penetration, however slight, of the anus or vulva by a hand or finger or by any object.

    4. The emission of semen or an orgasm is not required for the purposes of subparagraphs (A)-(C) of this paragraph.

  6. “Sexual contact” means the touching with any clothed or unclothed body part or any object, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person.

  7. “Solicit for prostitution” means to invite, entice, offer, persuade, or agree to engage in prostitution.

SEC. XXX.02.  CRIMINAL PROVISIONS.

  1. ENGAGING IN AND SOLICITING FOR PROSTITUTION. It is unlawful for any person to engage in prostitution or to solicit for prostitution. The penalties for violation of this section shall be a fine of $500 or not more than 90 days imprisonment, or both, for the first offense, a fine of $750 or not more than 135 days imprisonment, or both, for the second offense, and a fine of $1,000 or not more than 180 days imprisonment, or both, for the third and each subsequent offense.

  2. ABDUCTING, ENTICING, OR HARBORING CHILD FOR PURPOSES OF PROSTITUTION.

    1. It is unlawful for any person, for purposes of prostitution, to:

      1. Knowingly persuade, entice, or forcibly abduct a child under 18 years of age from his or her home or usual place of residence, or from the custody and control of the child’s parents or legal guardian; or

      2. Knowingly secrete or harbor any child so persuaded, enticed, or abducted from his or her home or usual abode, or from the custody and control of the child’s parents or guardian.

    2. A person who violates, or attempts or conspires to violate, subsection (1) or (2) of this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 20 years, or by a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

  3. PANDERING; INDUCING OR CAUSING PERSON TO ENGAGE IN PROSTITUTION.

    1. It is unlawful for any person to cause, compel, induce, entice, or procure or attempt to cause, compel, induce, entice, or procure any individual to engage in prostitution.

    2. It is unlawful for any parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of the person of an individual, to consent to the individual’s being taken, detained, or used by any person, for the purpose of prostitution.

      1. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (A) or (B) of this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

      2. A person who violates subsection (A) or (B) of this section when the individual so placed, caused, compelled, induced, enticed, procured, taken, detained, or used or attempted to be so placed, caused, compelled, induced, enticed, procured, taken, detained, or used is under the age of 18 years shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or by a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

  4. COMPELLING A PERSON TO ENGAGE IN ACTS OF PROSTITUTION.

    1. It is unlawful for any person, by threats or duress, to detain any individual against such individual’s will, for the purpose of prostitution, or to compel any individual against such individual’s will, to reside with him or her or with any other person for the purposes of prostitution.

    2.  

      1. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (A) of this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 15 years or by a fine of not more than $15,000, or both.

      2. A person who violates subsection (A) of the section when the individual so detained or compelled is under the age of 18 years shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or by a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

  5. PROCURING; RECEIVING MONEY OR OTHER THING OF VALUE FOR ARRANGING ACT OF PROSTITUTION.

    1. It is unlawful for any person to receive any money or other thing of value for or on account of arranging for or causing any individual to engage in prostitution.

    2.  

      1. Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (A) of this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

      2. A person who violates subsection (A) of this section when the individual so arranged for or caused to engage in prostitution or a sexual act or contact is under the age of 18 years shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or by a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.

  6. CAUSING SPOUSE OR DOMESTIC PARTNER TO ENGAGE IN ACT OF PROSTITUTION. Any person who by force, fraud, intimidation, or threats causes a spouse or domestic partner of that person to engage in an act of prostitution, shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 10 years.

  7. CAUSING AN INDIVIDUAL TO PERFORM ACT OF PROSTITUTION TO DISCHARGE A DEBT. Any person who attempts to cause any individual to engage in an act of prostitution because of any debt or debts such individual has contracted, or is said to have contracted, or to discharge any such debt or debts, shall be guilty of a felony, and on conviction thereof be imprisoned for a term not less than one year nor more than 5 years.

  8. PROCURING AN INDIVIDUAL FOR ACT OF PROSTITUTION. Any person who shall pay or receive any money or other valuable thing for or on account of the procuring of an individual for, or placing of an individual in, a house of prostitution or in any other place, for purposes of prostitution or other immoral act shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and by a fine of not more than $1,000.

  9. PROCURING FOR THIRD PERSONS. Any person who shall receive any money or other valuable thing for or on account of procuring and placing any individual in the charge or custody of another person for sexual intercourse, prostitution, debauchery, or other immoral purposes shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and by a fine of not more than $1,000.

  10. OPERATING HOUSE OF PROSTITUTION. Any person who knowingly, shall accept, receive, levy, or appropriate any money or other valuable thing, in consideration or exchange for furnishing a place for prostitution or the servicing of a place for prostitution, from the proceeds or earnings of any individual engaged in prostitution, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and by a fine of not more than $5,000.