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NC Prostitution Changes

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2013 NC legislation, S.L. 2013-368, overhauled the state’s prostitution offenses. It repealed G.S. 14‑190.18 (promoting prostitution of minor), 14‑190.19 (participating in prostitution of minor), 14‑204.1 (loitering for prostitution), 14‑205 (prosecution of offenses), 14‑207 (degrees of guilt), and 14‑208 (punishment). Additionally it rewrote every other provision in Ch. 14 Article 27 save one (only G.S. 14-206 (reputation & prior conviction admissible) was untouched). The changes are effective for offenses committed on or after October 1, 2013. Here is a summary of the new offenses.

Prostitution

Elements. A person guilty of this offense

(1)  willfully

(2)  engages in prostitution.

G.S. 14-204(a).

Punishment. Class 1 misdemeanor. G.S. 14-204(a). For conditional discharge, see G.S. 14-204(b). For special probation conditions, see G.S. 14-205.4.

Notes

Element (1). For the definition of the term “willfully” see Jessica Smith, North Carolina Crimes 6 (7th ed. 2012).

Element (2). “Prostitution” is the performance of, offer of, or agreement to perform vaginal intercourse, a sexual act, or sexual contact for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification and for money or other consideration. G.S. 14-203(5).

“Sexual act” includes cunnilingus, fellatio, analingus, anal intercourse, and the penetration by any object into the genital or anal opening of another person’s body, except when for accepted medical purposes. G.S. 14-203(5); 14-27.1(4).

“Sexual contact” includes touching the sexual organ, anus, breast, groin, or buttocks of another; touching another with one’s own sexual organ, anus, breast, groin, or buttocks; and ejaculating, emitting, or placing semen, urine, or feces on another. G.S. 14-203(5); 14-27.1(5). “Touching” means physical contact, including through clothing. G.S. 14-27.1(6).

Immunity for minors. The law provides for immunity from prosecution for persons less than 18 years of age. G.S. 14-204(c); 14-203(2).

Solicitation of Prostitution

Elements. A person guilty of this offense

(1)  solicits another

(2)  for prostitution.

G.S. 14-205.1.

Punishment. Class 1 misdemeanor for a first offense; Class H felony for a second or subsequent offense. G.S. 14-205.1. The statute provides for two enhanced versions of this offense. First, a person 18 years or older who willfully solicits a minor under 18 years old is guilty of a Class G felony. Id; G.S. 14-203(2). Second, a person who willfully solicits a severely or profoundly mentally disabled person is guilty of a Class E felony. G.S. 14-205.1. The term “severely or profoundly mentally disabled” is not defined. The additional facts enhancing punishment must be alleged in the charging instrument and found by a jury. For all versions of the offense, punishment may include participation in a “John School”. Id. A PJC is not allowed. Id. For special probation conditions, see G.S. 14-205.4.

Notes

Element (2). “Prostitution” is defined above.

Patronizing a Prostitute

Elements. A person guilty of this offense

(1)  willfully

(2)  (a)  (i)        engages in vaginal intercourse, a sexual act, or a sexual contact

(ii)           for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification

(iii)          with a prostitute, or

(b)  (i)         enters or remains

(ii)           in a place of prostitution

(iii)          with intent to engage in vaginal intercourse, a sexual act, or a sexual contact

(iv)         for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification and

(3)  the acts are done with a person who is not the defendant’s spouse.

G.S. 14-205.2.

Punishment. A first offense is a Class A1 misdemeanor; a second or subsequent offense is a Class G felony. G.S. 14-205.2(b). There are two enhanced versions of this offense. First, a violation is a Class F felony if the defendant is 18 years or older and the prostitute is less than 18. G.S. 14-205.2(c); 14-203(2). Second, a violation is a Class D felony if the prostitute is severely or profoundly mentally disabled. G.S. 14-205.2(d). The additional facts enhancing punishment must be alleged in the charging instrument and found by a jury. The term “severely or profoundly mentally disabled” is not defined. Both elevated versions of this offense qualify as sexual violent offenses for the purposes of the sex offender registration statutes. G.S. 14-190.13(5). For special probation conditions, see G.S. 14-205.4.

Notes

Element (1). For the definition of the term “willfully” see Jessica Smith, North Carolina Crimes 6 (7th ed. 2012).

Element (2). The terms “sexual act” and “sexual contact” are defined above. A prostitute is “a person who engages in prostitution.” G.S. 14-203(4).

Element (3). It is not clear if this provision is an element of the offense or a defense.

Promoting Prostitution

Elements. A person guilty of this offense

(1)  willfully

(2)  (a)  advances prostitution or

(b) profits from prostitution.

G.S. 14-205.3(a).

Punishment. Class F felony. Class E felony if the defendant has a prior conviction for this offense, G.S. 14‑204 (prostitution), G.S. 14‑204.1 (solicitation of prostitution), or G.S. 14‑204.2 (patronizing a prostitute). For special probation conditions, see G.S. 14-205.4.

Notes.

Element (2)(a). A person advances prostitution when, acting as other than a prostitute or a patron of a prostitute, he or she:

  • solicits another for prostitution;
  • arranges or offers to arrange a meeting of people for prostitution,
  • directs another to a place knowing the direction is for prostitution, or
  • uses the Internet, including social media, to solicit another for prostitution.

G.S. 14-203(1)(a). A person also advances prostitution by keeping a place of prostitution. This means controlling or exercising control over the use of a place that could offer seclusion or shelter for prostitution and performing any of the following acts, when acting as other than a prostitute or a prostitute’s patron:

  • knowingly granting or permitting the use of the place for prostitution,
  • granting or permitting the use of the place under circumstances from which the person should reasonably know that the place is used or is to be used for prostitution, or
  • permitting the continued use of the place when the person should know that the place is being used for prostitution.

G.S. 14-203(1)(b).

Element (2)(b). To profit from prostitution means “[w]hen acting as other than a prostitute, to receive anything of value for personally rendered prostitution services or to receive anything of value from a prostitute, if the thing received is not for lawful consideration and the person knows it was earned in whole or in part from the practice of prostitution.” G.S. 14-203(3). The profiting may occur by compelling a person to become a prostitute; by receiving a portion of the earnings from a prostitute for arranging or offering to arrange a situation in which the person may practice prostitution or; by any other means. G.S. 14-205.3(a). However, profiting from prostitution “by any other means” does not apply to a minor engaged in prostitution or when the practice of prostitution underlying the offense consists exclusively of the defendant’s own acts of prostitution under G.S. 14‑204. G.S. 14-205.3(a)(2)c.

Promoting Prostitution of Minor or Mentally Disabled Person

Elements. A person guilty of this offense

(1)        willfully

(2)        (a)        (i)         advances prostitution and

(ii)        a minor or severely or profoundly mentally disabled person engaged in prostitution, or

(iii)       any person engaged in prostitution in the place of prostitution is a minor or severely or profoundly mentally disabled person, or

(b)        (i)         profits from prostitution and

(ii)        the prostitute is

(1)  a minor or

(2)  a severely or profoundly mentally disabled person, or

(c)        (i)         confines

(ii)        a minor or a severely or profoundly mentally disabled person

(iii)       against the person’s will

(iii)          by

(1)  the infliction or threat of imminent infliction of great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement or

(2)  administering an alcoholic intoxicant or controlled substance, without consent or by threat or deception and for non-medical purposes, and

(v)        does any of the following:

(1)  compels the minor or severely or profoundly mentally disabled person to engage in prostitution,

(2)  arranges a situation for the minor or severely or profoundly mentally disabled person to practice prostitution, or

(3)  profits from the minor or severely or profoundly mentally disabled person’s prostitution.

G.S. 14-205.3(b).

Punishment. If Elements (2)(a) or (b) are involved, Class D felony. If Element (2)(c) is involved, Class C felony. Additionally, if the person has a prior conviction for violating this statute, G.S. 14‑204 (prostitution), G.S. 14‑204.1 (solicitation of prostitution), or G.S. 14‑204.2 (patronizing a prostitute) punishment is as a Class C felony. For special probation conditions, see G.S. 14-205.4.

Notes.

Element (1). For the definition of the term “willfully” see Jessica Smith, North Carolina Crimes 6 (7th ed. 2012).

Element (2) generally. A minor is a person under 18 years old. G.S. 14-203(2). The statute does not define the term “severely or profoundly mentally disabled.”

Element (2)(a). “Advances prostitution” is defined above.

Element (2)(c)(iv). Administering drugs or alcoholic intoxicant is deemed to be without consent if it is done without the consent of the parents or legal guardian or is performed or permitted by the parents or legal guardian for non-medical purposes. G.S. 14-205.3(b).

Mistake of age. Mistake of age is not a defense. G.S. 14-205.3(b).

Sex offender registration. A conviction of this offense triggers sex offender registration requirements. G.S. 14-190.13(5).

8 comments on “NC Prostitution Changes

  1. Are they planning on criminalizing the lewd and atrocious behavior that vice officers engage in to encourage uneducated poor women to commit soliciation for prostitution? Or are we just gonna keep paying vice cops to ruin people’s lives instead of going out and catching violent criminals?

  2. The term “for money or other consideration”, obviously includes money. But when money is a “gift”, is it really “consideration” for prostitution? After all, in reality everyone who makes themselves “available” in any bar or other such venue is in effect prostituting themselves, since every such relationship that has sexual activity attached usually has some form of implied consideration, such as expensive gifts, like jewelry, buying dinner and/or drinks for another, cash to help a girlfriend or boyfriend out when they are broke, taking another to a venue for sports, live theater, dancing, etc, all of which fall under the definition of “consideration”, same as cash. In fact, any sexual conduct outside of marriage, or at least engagement, constitutes prostituting oneself for some kind of consideration, even if only emotional comfort.

    Now one reason for laws against prostitution is to minimize the spread of STDs. However, in today’s society, sexual activity by those who “date” or like one-night stands, far exceeds the number of encounters by prostitution. Hence, the Dutch model makes more sense, namely that “buyers” cannot solicit, but “sellers” can solicit, and those who “sell” must register and be medically checked periodically. Chasing prostitution underground only promotes the spread of STDs. So this argument against prostitution is bogus. If pols are serious about reducing the spread of STDs, they would legalize and regulate prostitution.

    Furthermore, counseling is likely to reach more prostitutes who are registered than not.

    One person once said, “If consensual sexual activity is legal, and buying and selling is legal, why are the two not allowed together?”

    This all said, dependence on prostitution for sex is sad because of the lack of emotional bonds, something many miss.

    • Not a lawyer but I’ll take a stab at it: If the aim of a ” hook up ” in a bar or wherever is a sexual experience the drinks or food purchased is not the primary consideration . Not many, or any prostitutes will agree to perform for the price of a drink or a meal . If you say ” Hey, I will buy your food and drinks if you will have sex with me “, that is illegal . Prostitution is a business deal, money or valuable consideration for sex,with any social interaction not criticdl to the agreement . I agree with you that criminalizing inevitable human conduct is the worst way to regulate it, but this is America and only in parts of Nevada is prostitution legal . Many laws are based on the moral imperatives of the voters and not common sense . In Holland , and now several of our States, cannabis is legally obtained for adult use because the voters overwhelmingly overrode the political stalling of common sense and gave them no choice . In NC , the People can not change the State laws or enact new ones by popular votes on an issue, it must be done by the legislature, who are beholden to special interests and the fear of discouraging voters who, even though a minority, hold views at odds with common sense and proven facts . So, since the will of the majority in NC cannot compel the politicians to abide by the majority viewpoint, we continue to suffer under archaic and harmful laws and policies . Most all North Carolinian’s would say that if an adult wants to smoke pot in his home or a designated place and are not involving minors then let it be , but no politician,especially in a Southern state, wants his opponent in the next election to claim that he or she is ” soft on drugs ” and alienate the far right wing voters they often rely on . In other words, the will of the majority ,common sense and science are not determining factors in making or keeping laws,but the fear of a voting block undermining the chance to be re-elected . Not the system our forefathers envisioned but what we are stuck with .

  3. Hello Jessica,
    What if you have a felony for solicitation before 2013? What can be done to get it exponged? … and this is the first and only offense? It’s hard to get a job when background checks are done. This is haunting me everytime I switch jobs!!!!

    What can I do!? Please email me with your response.

    Thanks!

    • You must consult an attorney for specific legal advice , either by paying their fees or consulting a free legal clinic . Lawyers invest many years in education , training and certifications and deserve to be compensated for their expertise . The NC statutes are available online and if you cannot glean from them what you need to know , then hiring an attorney is the solution . While it may seem expensive just think about what it is costing you over a lifetime to lose employment opportunities . Doctors and lawyers and other professionals stake their reputations, livelihoods and careers on the advice they give and the actions they take and are deserving of adequate payment for services rendered .

  4. I have a ? Does habitual prostitution still apply when prior charges were plead down to disorderly conduct?

    Also. What exactly is procurring prostitution

  5. is the sale/purchase of sex dolls considered prostitution? if someone bought a sex doll, could they rent it out? would that be prostitution?

  6. Is paying someone to film themselves masturbating fir your personal use legal or illegal in NC?

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