What to expect if arrested for Soliciting a Prostitute?
Attorneys, surgeons, architects, nurses, journalist, and a dentist were among the two hundred men arrested in a massage parlor sting operation by the Seattle Police Department over the past few weeks. The police set up a massage parlor in Seattle and undercover female officers offered a massage and a sex act for a fee.
They will be criminally charged with “sexual exploitation” under Seattle Municipal Code 12A.10.040. A person is guilty of sexual exploitation if:
- Pursuant to a prior understanding, he or she pays a fee to another person as compensation for such person or a third having engaged in sexual conduct with him or her; or
- He or she pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefor such person will engage in sexual conduct with him or her; or
- He or she solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual contact with him or her in return for a fee.
The Seattle Municipal Court adopted the above referenced language from the Washington State Code (RCW). A person can be charged in District Court under the State Code for the same offense but it would be called “patronizing a prostitute” pursuant to RCW 9A.88.110. Regardless, the charges are misdemeanor offenses and the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail.
ADDITIONAL PENALTIES FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
The court will impose the following penalties and restrictions if convicted:
- Biological sample collected for DNA identification
- DNA fee is $100
- Geographical restrictions near location of the crime
- Complete an educational program about the negative impact of prostitution
- One Thousand Five Hundred dollar fee for first offense
- $2,500 for second offense
- $5,000 for third offense
- Additional court fine up to $1,000.
Revenue from the fees are deposited into the Sex Industry Victims Fund and used for education including John Schools, rehabilitative services for victims, and for local law police efforts including Vice Enforcement.
Fortunately, a conviction does not require a person to register as a sex offender. An arrest can be an embarrassing experience but it does not have to ruin
Defense attorneys should be advocating for entry into a deferred sentence, a deferred prosecution, or a diversion agreement. The goal is to ultimately have the case dismissed upon completion of the agreed upon requirements. It’s critical to be proactive and seek representation. Contact the Law Office of Michael P. Sheehy, PLLC to learn about your options, available defenses, and how to avoid a conviction.
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