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Prostitution, Pimping and Soliciting

The laws governing prostitution and solicitation vary worldwide, and the industry is legal and regulated in some countries. Issues such as human trafficking, sex tourism, sexual enslavement, violence against prostitutes, and child prostitution have encouraged the illegality and negative connotations now associated with those who engage in prostitution and solicitation. With the exception of 11 counties in Nevada, prostitution is a criminal offense everywhere in the United States, including Massachusetts. Section 53A of Chapter 272 of our General Laws mandate that anyone who engages, agrees to engage, or offers to engage in sexual conduct with another person in exchange for a fee is subject to punishment under the law. In addition, anyone who offers to pay another to engage or agree to engage in sexual conduct is also punishable under the law. Pursuant to this crime, both the acts of the person performing the sexual conduct and the person paying for the sexual conduct will be considered a crime. A person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute, and a person requesting sexual services in return for a fee is said to be soliciting. An individual convicted of this crime is subject to the following:

  • Imprisonment in the house of correction for no more than 1 year, or
  • A fine not to exceed $500, or
  • Both such imprisonment and fine.
With a Child Under 14

Section 53A of Chapter 272 of our General Laws also provides that anyone who pays, agrees to pay, or offers to pay a child under the age of 14 to engage in sexual conduct is subject to punishment under the law. In addition, anyone who is paid, agrees to pay, or agrees that a third part be paid in return for aiding a person who intends to engage in sexual conduct with a child under the age of 14 is also punishable under the law. An individual convicted of this crime shall be punishable by the following:

  • Imprisonment in the state prison for no more than 10 years, or
  • Imprisonment in the house of correction for no more than 2.5 years

It is important to note that a person may be convicted under Section 53A whether or not such sexual conduct actually occurs.

What the Prosecution Must Prove

In order for the prosecution to prove the defendant guilty of prostitution, the Commonwealth must be able to prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant either engaged, agreed to engage or offered to engage in sexual conduct with another person; and
  2. The sexual conduct was done (or was intended to be done) in exchange for payment.

In order for the prosecution to prove the defendant guilty of soliciting, the Commonwealth must be able to prove two things beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant either paid, agreed to pay, or offered to pay another person; and
  2. The payment to that person was in exchange for acts of sexual conduct with the defendant or a third party.

At The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy, clients will find our team to be open, honest and non-judgmental about any charges held against you. Attorney Murphy has been successfully defending clients facing a vast array of charges in Boston, Massachusetts for over 18 years. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy will work tirelessly to defend all charges and employ an effective legal defense strategy. Once you’ve retained Attorney Murphy’s services, you can rest assured that The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy will do everything possible to make sure that your case receives the attention, resources, and dedicated legal counsel that it deserves. Call us 24/7 for a free consultation at (617) 367-0450 or submit the completed contact form on our website.

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