PROSTITUTION AND STINGS IN MINNESOTA
Prostitution is a very serious criminal offense with long lasting repercussions. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your record is imperative.
STINGSOften we will read about prostitution stings that occur in different cities. These stings often coincide with times when big events like the Superbowl and Final Four come to town. When that happens traveling brothels and escorts appear in town to take advantage of the crowds.
Often, as part of these stings, law enforcement set up locations at local hotels or motels. The officers will post ads in print and online in locations like backpage. The ads may depict a photo of an attractive young women and even indicate the person the persons age is 18 or more. When someone calls the number, the law enforcement officers will tell them the town and general location of the meeting and ask the person traveling to the location to call or text when they are nearby.
While in transit, the officers may indicate uo the person traveling that the person they will be meeting with is under the age of 18 making a misdemeanor offense a gross misdemeanor or even a felony if the caller follows through.
Prostitution ImpactsProstitution may be charged as a misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony depending on the facts. The consequence of a conviction can be significant and may include jai time and fines. Even more a conviction may have a long lasting impact on your future including employment, education and travel. Some cities will post photos person charged with engaging in prostitution online in order to dissuade the crime by shaming the participants.
It is always important to have an experienced attorney and protect your record.
Engaging in or Agreeing to Engage in Prostitution (18 or older).This is the most common offense. Under Minnesota Statutes Section 609.324, subd. 3 it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. The offense is “enhanceable.” That means you may be charged with a greater crime for a subsequent offense within two years.
In Minnesota, usual sentences for a misdemeanor conviction can vary from Stay of Imposition where the case is dismissed after a probationary period with no same or similar offense and completion of a prostitution class (Ramsey County), to jail sentences and completion of psychosexual evaluations (Dakota County).
Location Related Solicitation of ProstitutionCharges for prostitution can become more serious depending on the location where they occur.
(A) Solicitation in a public place is a gross misdemeanor under Minnesota Statutes Section 609.324, subd. 2. A gross misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3000 fine. What constitutes a “public place” may be a significant defense to the crime.
(B) Acts of prostitution that occur near schools or parks may be enhanced to a more severe felony offense. The crime is enhanced in the following ways if committed near these zones: If the crime committed is a felony, the statutory maximum for the crime is three years longer than the statutory maximum for the underlying crime.
Age Related Felony OffensesIt is illegal to engage in, hire, or agree to hire a minor to engage in prostitution. The younger the victim is, the more serious the penalties.
(A) A person convicted of soliciting a minor to engage in sex either as a patron or promoter of prostitution in Minnesota (or under a similar law in another state) will also be designated a “predatory offender.” (Minn. Stat. Ann. §243.166 Subd. 1b.) This means reporting as a sex offender or appearing on a sex offender list.
(B) If the victim is between 16 and 18 years of age, the offender may face a felony conviction and possible sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine up to $10,000, or both.
(C) If the victim is between 13 and 16 years of age, the offender may face a felony conviction and a possible sentence of up to 10 years, a fine up to $20,000, or both.
If the victim is under the age of 13, the person charged faces a possible felony conviction and a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $40,000, or both.
Promotion of ProstitutionA person who “promotes the prostitution” of another person, in other words, acts as a “pimp” or “madam,” may be charged with a felony in Minnesota.
Under Minnesota law, a person is guilty of promotion of prostitution when that person intentionally:
(a) solicits or induces an individual to practice prostitution;
(b) promotes the prostitution of an individual;
(c) receives profit, knowing or having reason to know, that it is derived from prostitution, or
(d) engages in sex trafficking of an individual.
(Minn. Stat. Ann. § 609.322 Subd. 1a.)
Owning, leasing, operating a house for prostitutionOwning, operating, leasing, or allowing the use of any place for purpose of prostitution, referred to as a “disorderly house” in the law, is a gross misdemeanor in Minnesota. (Minn. Stat. Ann. § 609.33.)
(a) If the crime committed is a gross misdemeanor, the person is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced to imprisonment for no more than two years and/or to payment of a fine of not more than $4,000
(b) If the crime committed is a misdemeanor, the person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor which is punishable by up to a year in jail and $3000 fine.