New York Prostitution Laws

Is prostitution legal in New York?

New York prostitution laws have improved over the years with progressive efforts chipping away at the harms of criminalization. More recently there has been a dangerous effort to rebrand the Nordic Model of prostitution (entrapment model) as the Equality Model. Current legislation threatens to implement this failed system within the US.

 

Prostitution Laws of New York

  • 230.00: Prostitution
  • 230.02: Patronizing a prostitute; definitions
  • 230.04: Patronizing a prostitute in the third degree
  • 230.05: Patronizing a prostitute in the second degree
  • 230.06: Patronizing a prostitute in the first degree
  • 230.07: Patronizing a prostitute; defense
  • 230.10: Prostitution and patronizing a prostitute; no defense
  • 230.15: Promoting prostitution; definitions of terms
  • 230.20: Promoting prostitution in the fourth degree
  • 230.25: Promoting prostitution in the third degree
  • 230.30: Promoting prostitution in the second degree
  • 230.32: Promoting prostitution in the first degree
  • 230.33 Compelling prostitution
  • 230.34: Sex trafficking
  • 230.35: Promoting or compelling prostitution; accomplice
  • 230.36: Sex trafficking; accomplice
  • 230.40: Permitting prostitution

New York Prostitution Laws

 

S 230.00: Prostitution

A person is guilty of prostitution when such person engages or agrees or offers to engage in sexual
conduct with another person in return for a fee.

Prostitution is a class B Misdemeanor.

S 230.02: Patronizing a prostitute; definitions

1. A person patronizes a prostitute when:

(a) Pursuant to a prior understanding, he pays a fee to another person as compensation for such person or a third person having engaged in sexual conduct with him; or

(b) He pays or agrees to pay a fee to another person pursuant to an understanding that in return therefor such person or a third person will engage in sexual conduct with him; or

(c) He solicits or requests another person to engage in sexual conduct with him in return for a fee.

2. As used in this article, "person who is patronized" means the person with whom the defendant engaged in sexual conduct or was to have engaged in sexual conduct pursuant to the understanding, or the person who was solicited or requested by the defendant to engage in sexual conduct.

S 230.04: Patronizing a prostitute in the third degree

A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute in the third degree when he or she patronizes a
prostitute [age fourteen and up].

Patronizing a prostitute in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

S 230.05: Patronizing a prostitute in the second degree

A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute in the second degree when, being over eighteen years of age, he patronizes a prostitute and the person patronized is less than fourteen years of age.

Patronizing a prostitute in the second degree is a class E felony.

S 230.06: Patronizing a prostitute in the first degree

A person is guilty of patronizing a prostitute in the first degree when he patronizes a prostitute and the person patronized is less than eleven years of age.

Patronizing a prostitute in the first degree is a class D felony.

S 230.07: Patronizing a prostitute; defense

In any prosecution for patronizing a prostitute in the first, second or third degrees, it is a defense that the defendant did not have reasonable grounds to believe that the person was less than the age specified.

S 230.10: Prostitution and patronizing a prostitute; no defense

In any prosecution for prostitution or patronizing a prostitute, the sex of the two parties or
prospective parties to the sexual conduct engaged in, contemplated or solicited is immaterial, and it is no defense that:

1. Such persons were of the same sex; or

2. The person who received, agreed to receive or solicited a fee was a male and the person who paid or agreed or offered to pay such fee was a female.

S 230.15: Promoting prostitution; definitions of terms

The following definitions are applicable to this article:

1. "Advance prostitution." A person "advances prostitution" when, acting other than as a prostitute or as a patron thereof, he knowingly causes or aids a person to commit or engage in prostitution, procures or solicits patrons for prostitution, provides persons or premises for prostitution purposes, operates or assists in the operation of a house of prostitution or a prostitution enterprise, or engages in any other conduct designed to institute, aid or facilitate an act or enterprise of prostitution.

2. "Profit from prostitution." A person "profits from prostitution" when, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he accepts or receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he participates or is to participate in the proceeds of prostitution activity.

S 230.20: Promoting prostitution in the fourth degree

A person is guilty of promoting prostitution in the fourth degree when he knowingly advances or profits from prostitution.

Promoting prostitution in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor.

S 230.25: Promoting prostitution in the third degree

A person is guilty of promoting prostitution in the third degree when he knowingly:

1. Advances or profits from prostitution by managing, supervising, controlling or owning, either alone or in association with others, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business or enterprise involving prostitution activity by two or more prostitutes, or a business that sells travel-related services knowing that such services include or are intended to facilitate travel for the purpose of patronizing a prostitute, including to a foreign jurisdiction and regardless of the legality of prostitution in said foreign jurisdiction; or

2. Advances or profits from prostitution of a person less than nineteen years old.

Promoting prostitution in the third degree is a class D felony.

S 230.30: Promoting prostitution in the second degree

A person is guilty of promoting prostitution in the second degree when he knowingly:

1. Advances prostitution by compelling a person by force or intimidation to engage in prostitution, or profits from such coercive conduct by another; or

2. Advances or profits from prostitution of a person less than sixteen years old.

Promoting prostitution in the second degree is a class C felony.

S 230.32: Promoting prostitution in the first degree

A person is guilty of promoting prostitution in the first degree when he knowingly advances or profits from prostitution of a person less than eleven years old.

Promoting prostitution in the first degree is a class B felony.

S 230.33: Compelling prostitution

A person is guilty of compelling prostitution when, being twenty-one years of age or older, he or she knowingly advances prostitution by compelling a person less than sixteen years old, by force or intimidation, to engage in prostitution.

Compelling prostitution is a class B felony.

S 230.34: Sex trafficking

A person is guilty of sex trafficking if he or she intentionally advances or profits from prostitution by:

1. Unlawfully providing to a person who is patronized, with intent to impair said person's judgment: (a) a narcotic drug or a narcotic preparation; (b) concentrated cannabis as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision four of section thirty-three hundred two of the public health law; (c) methadone; or (d) gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB) or flunitrazepan, also known as Rohypnol;

2. Making material false statements, misstatements, or omissions to induce or maintain the person being patronized to engage in or continue to engage in prostitution activity;

3. Withholding, destroying, or confiscating anyactual or purported passport, immigration document, or any other actual or purported government identification document of another person with intent to impair said person's freedom of movement; provided, however, that this subdivision shall not apply to an attempt to correct a social security administration record or immigration agency record in accordance with any local, state, or federal agency requirement, where such attempt is not made for the purpose of any express or implied threat;

4. Requiring that prostitution be performed to retire, repay, or service a real or purported debt;

5. Using force or engaging in any scheme, plan or pattern to compel or induce the person being patronized to engage in or continue to engage in prostitution activity by means of instilling a fear in the person being patronized that, if the demand is not complied with, the actor or another will do one or more of the following:

(a) Cause physical injury, serious physical injury, or death to a person; or

(b) Cause damage to property, other than the property of the actor; or

(c) engage in other conduct constituting a felony or unlawful imprisonment in the second degree in violation of section 135.05 of this chapter; or

(d) Accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges or deportation proceedings to be
instituted against some person; provided, however, that it shall be an affirmative defense to this subdivision that the defendant reasonably believed the threatened charge to be true and that his or her sole purpose was to compel or induce the victim to take reasonable action to make good the wrong which was the subject of such threatened charge; or

(e) Expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule; or

(f) Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense; or

(g) Use or abuse his or her position as a public servant by performing some act within or related to his or her official duties, or by failing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely; or

(h) perform any other act which would not in itself materially benefit the actor but which is calculated to harm the person who is patronized materially with respect to his or her health, safety, or immigration status.

Sex trafficking is a class B felony.

S 230.35: Promoting or compelling prostitution; accomplice

In a prosecution for promoting prostitution or compelling prostitution, a person less than seventeen years of age from whose prostitution activityanother person is alleged to have advanced or attempted to advance or profited or attempted to profit shall not be deemed to be an accomplice.

S 230.36: Sex trafficking; accomplice

In a prosecution for sex trafficking, a person from whose prostitution activity another person is alleged to have advanced or attempted to advance or profited or attempted to profit shall not be deemed to be an accomplice.

S 230.40: Permitting prostitution

A person is guilty of permitting prostitution when, having possession or control of premises which he knows are being used for prostitution purposes, he fails to make reasonable effort to halt or abate such use.

Permitting prostitution is a class B misdemeanor.

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