Often referred to as the world’s “oldest crime,” prostitution remains illegal in both Kansas and Missouri as does soliciting or promoting prostitution. Although prostitution related offenses generally start out as misdemeanors, you can be charged with a serious felony for a prostitution related criminal offense under certain circumstances.
Prostitution related offenses in the State of Kansas may include:
- Prostitution which is defined as performing, offering or agreeing to perform a sex act for hire when an exchange of value occurs. Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor absent aggravating circumstances.
- Patronizing is what “John’s” are charged with in the State of Kansas. The Kansas patronizing law makes it illegal to buy sex or enter a place where sexual relations are being sold with the intent to engage in a sex act with a prostitute. Patronizing is a class A misdemeanor for a first-time offense; however, it may be aggravated to a severity level 9, person felony for a repeat offender.
- Promoting prostitution is rather broad in Kansas and may include when an accused knowingly:
- establishes, owns, maintains, or manages a brothel,
- permits property they own to be used as a brothel;
- recruits or otherwise procures a prostitute to work in a brothel;
- encourages another person to become a prostitute;
- solicits a patron for a prostitute or to enter a brothel;
- recruits or otherwise procures a prostitute for a patron; or
- enables transportation of a prostitute with the intention of helping the prostitute engage in acts of prostitution. Promoting prostitution begins as a level 9,
- person felony but may be elevated to a level 7, person felony for a repeat offender.
In the State of Missouri, prostitution related offenses may include:
- Prostitution, defined as “engaging, offering, or agreeing to sexual conduct (oral, vaginal, or anal sex or any sexual touching to arouse) with another person in exchange for money or another item of value.” Prostitution is generally charged as a class B misdemeanor.
- Patronizing a Prostitute, defined as “buying, agreeing to buy, or requesting sexual acts from a prostitute or his or her pimp.” The potential penalties for patronizing a prostitute vary by the age of the prostitute.
- Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree, defined as “compelling a person to enter, engage in, or remain in prostitution by use of force or drugs or withholding drugs from a drug dependent person, also promoting prostitution of a child less than 16 years old.” Promoting prostitution in the first degree is a class B felony in Missouri.
There are often valid defenses available to an accused who has been charged with a prostitution related offense; however, in order to make use of those defenses you need an experienced Kansas or Missouri criminal defense attorney on your side.