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By Colorado Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg
Understanding The Colorado Sex Crimes Of Prostitution & Solicitation And Related Laws and the legal defenses against such charges – begins with an understanding of the laws themselves and how they are enforced in Colorado.
Prostitution laws appear at every level of Colorado State and Local government. It is an annual favorite target of the local and state politician and is investigated and prosecuted aggressively as a criminal act. The use of “sting” operations to “dragnet” prostitution operations is common and so called “vice squads” are kept very busy arresting the prostitutes, the johns, the pimps, and the middlemen – all for the occasional article published in the local newspapers.
“Sting” operations arise when the police stake out local massage parlors, strip clubs, or the streets themselves in order to “bust” illegal prostitution rings. The officers may also additionally pose as “johns” responding to online advertisements for “call girls,” “escorts,” or girls just “looking to have fun” that are commonly placed on websites such as Craigslist or the Backpage.
Prostitution, at its very basic component – means to engage in a sexual act in exchange for money or other “consideration” (Forms of payment such as goods or services).
Here Are the Laws That Apply To Colorado Prostitution Based Cases.. (they fall under a category in the criminal code of laws – called Title 18. Criminal Code Article 7. Offenses Relating to Morals Part 2. Prostitution:
(1) Any person who performs or offers or agrees to perform any act of sexual intercourse, fellatio, cunnilingus, masturbation, or anal intercourse with any person not his spouse in exchange for money or other thing of value commits prostitution.
(2) (a) “Fellatio”, as used in this section, means any act of oral stimulation of the penis.
(b) “Cunnilingus”, as used in this section, means any act of oral stimulation of the vulva or clitoris.
(c) “Masturbation”, as used in this section, means stimulation of the genital organs by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of sexual intercourse.
(d) “Anal intercourse”, as used in this section, means contact between human beings of the genital organs of one and the anus of another.
(3) Prostitution is a class 3 misdemeanor.
– (1) A person commits soliciting for prostitution if he:
(a) Solicits another for the purpose of prostitution; or (b) Arranges or offers to arrange a meeting of persons for the purpose of prostitution; or (c) Directs another to a place knowing such direction is for the purpose of prostitution.
(2) Soliciting for prostitution is a class 3 misdemeanor. A person who is convicted of soliciting for prostitution may be required to pay a fine of not more than five thousand dollars in addition to any penalty imposed by the court pursuant to section 18-1.3-501, which additional fine shall be transferred to the state treasurer, who shall transfer the same to the prostitution enforcement cash fund created in section 24-33.5-513, C.R.S.
– (1) Any person who does any of the following for money or other thing of value commits pandering: (a) Inducing a person by menacing or criminal intimidation to commit prostitution; or (b) Knowingly arranging or offering to arrange a situation in which a person may practice prostitution.
(2) (a) Pandering under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section is a class 5 felony. A person who is convicted of pandering under paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section shall be required to pay a fine of not less than five thousand dollars and not more than ten thousand dollars in addition to any penalty imposed by the court pursuant to section 18-1.3-401, which additional fine shall be transferred to the state treasurer, who shall transfer the same to the prostitution enforcement cash fund created in section 24-33.5-513, C.R.S.
(b) Pandering under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section is a class 3 misdemeanor. A person who is convicted of pandering under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section shall be required to pay a fine of not less than five thousand dollars and not more than ten thousand dollars in addition to any penalty imposed by the court pursuant to section 18-1.3-501, which additional fine shall be transferred to the state treasurer, who shall transfer the same to the prostitution enforcement cash fund created in section 24-33.5-513, C.R.S.
(1) Any person who has or exercises control over the use of any place which offers seclusion or shelter for the practice of prostitution and who performs any one or more of the following commits keeping a place of prostitution if he:
(a) Knowingly grants or permits the use of such place for the purpose of prostitution; or
(b) Permits the continued use of such place for the purpose of prostitution after becoming aware of facts or circumstances from which he should reasonably know that the place is being used for purposes of prostitution.
(2) Keeping a place of prostitution is a class 2 misdemeanor.
(1) Any person who performs any of the following with a person not his spouse commits patronizing a prostitute: (a) Engages in an act of sexual intercourse or of deviate sexual conduct with a prostitute; or (b) Enters or remains in a place of prostitution with intent to engage in an act of sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct.
(2) Patronizing a prostitute is a class 1 misdemeanor. A person who is convicted of patronizing a prostitute may be required to pay a fine of not more than five thousand dollars in addition to any penalty imposed by the court pursuant to section 18-1.3-401 or 18-1.3-503, which additional fine shall be transferred to the state treasurer, who shall transfer the same to the prostitution enforcement cash fund created in section 24-33.5-513, C.
Any person who knowingly lives on or is supported or maintained in whole or in part by money or other thing of value earned, received, procured, or realized by any other person through prostitution commits pimping, which is a class 3 felony.
– Any person who by word, gesture, or action endeavors to further the practice of prostitution in any public place or within public view commits a class 1 petty offense.
Each of the statutes above has a possible sentencing range for that law. The possible penalty for each crime – from a class 3 felony for Pimping – to a petty offense for Prostitute Making Display – can be determined by using the LINKS to these charts:
Law enforcement in Colorado will sometimes “follow the chain” up to the top person in a prostitution ring. Police will often arrest the prostitute, the customer, the “john,” the middleman, otherwise known as a pimp.
Pimps arrange or participates in soliciting the agreement for acts of prostitution and or receive part or all of a prostitute’s pay, and otherwise “participates” in the crime by procuring the prostitute.
It may be very important to you – your family- your career and your state of mind to fight criminal charges arising out of alleged acts of prostitution.
In this section we look at the most common legal defenses that may assist you in obtaining a dismissal or – at least a reduction of charges.
These Colorado Legal Defenses include:
Lack of evidence, and
No probable cause for arrest
Entrapment is a commonly asserted defense in a prostitution case because most prostitution cases or solicitation cases involve “under cover” agents. These are usually other police officers who act as prostitutes or pimps intending to trap the john by “luring them” to engage in prostitution. Sometimes – truly law abiding people are unfairly caught up in the sting.
Entrapment is harder to assert and prove than you might think however. Entrapment means that the police officer literally pressures you into doing something you would not otherwise have done by – for example – by applying verbal pressure, constant harassment, actual fraud, or threats . . . and as a result of those actions – you behave in ways you otherwise would not have behaved.
Colorado law therefore does not hold you responsible for your “activity” under these circumstances.
The “decoy” officers – the undercover officers who typically pose as prostitutes, and – yes – sometimes as “johns” often try to get suspects to agree to engage in acts of prostitution using unfair methods. Juries – and judges for that matter – often do not appreciate their zealousness – making entrapment a possible Colorado prostitution / solicitation defense. The kind of “aggressive come-on” that induce a possible “john” to agreeing to sex for money – may cross the line by inducing him or her to do something he or she wouldn’t otherwise have done.
Legal Impossibility this defense essentially means that the person accused of an act of prostitution the behavior did not amount to a crime. Examples include sexual acts engaged through “electronic” media…. not really sex.
This defense is asserted where there is no recorded evidence of the “agreement” to engage in an act of prostitution. “Wires” used by undercover officers are notoriously unreliable – or recordings may be “lost.” If others in the sting have such evidence used against them – a Colorado criminal defense lawyer will argue that the reason none exists in this case is obvious – an act of prostitution never occurred.
Juries do not favor “missing” evidence cases.
The kind of ambiguous conversations that often take place and that are used by DA’s to prove an act of prostitution in Colorado … that is “agreeing to engage in act of sex,” – require not only the agreement that the act will take place – but that it will be for money or other consideration. Reliable evidence means proving “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you engaged in prostitution or solicitation and it is harder to prove sometimes than you may think.
The mistake defense is asserted where the accused specifically did not intend to engage in a sex act at all. A call girl or other service that is used to secure a date does not necessarily amount to an act of prostitution or solicitation. A massage parlor may actually BE a massage parlor and replying to a “call girl” or “escort” service ad…intending only to secure a date or companion fro the night…without more – DOES NOT mean you are not guilty of prostitution and or solicitation.
If just talking to a woman or a man on the street is the only thing an arresting officer saw before arresting you – that’s not enough. If it is a sting – what was said? Was it recorded? Were there witnesses. The Constitution requires that your arrest be supported by probable cause. If the officer did not have probable cause to make the arrest – the case against you could be thrown out,
Most Colorado courts offer excellent programs commonly referred to as “diversionary programs.” If you qualify and receive an offer to get into such a program, it will mean that ultimately no conviction or guilty plea will be entered on your criminal record, and that even the booking – the arrest record can sealed – expunged from that criminal history.
There is a social stigma associated with engaging a prostitute that may be far worse than the possible criminal penalties involved. The loss of a marriage, a fiance, or other significant other – along with the public humiliation that may result from the arrest – cannot be understated.
Prostitution is the kind of crime that is so vaguely defined that it may actually include behavior that you thought was acceptable and legal. Be careful and always use extreme caution when speaking to anyone under the circumstances described above.
A conviction for a so called “crime of moral turpitude” can also lead to the loss of certain jobs involving trust such as jobs involving and or directly working with children – a bank – a charitable organization – and defense work where you must have security clearances – and other occupations. Be careful if you work in these fields. Similar rules and regulations or laws may apply to other professions or employment.
An arrest for anyone – is a traumatic and humiliating experience – but the consequences of a prostitution arrest and criminal record – may permanently impact – even destroy your life. Take it seriously.
The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.
H. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer who will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options.
Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases. Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defenses for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,…. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving …Understanding The Colorado Sex Crimes Of Prostitution & Solicitation.