Is prostitution legal in Washington D.C.?
Washington D.C. prostitution laws been a topic of focus for Decriminalize Sex Work in recent years. Our Sex Worker and Community Health and Safety Act of 2020 was submitted to the board of Elections, however those efforts have halted for the time being. Prostitution in Washington D.C., including D.C. escorts, continues to be illegal.
Prostitution Laws of the District of Columbia
- § 22-2701: Inviting for purposes of prostitution prohibited
- § 22-2701.01: Definitions
- § 22-2703: Suspension of sentence; conditions; enforcement
- § 22-2705: Pandering; inducing or compelling an individual to engage in prostitution
- § 22-2706: Compelling an individual to live life of prostitution against his or her will
- § 22-2707: Procuring; receiving money or other valuable thing for arranging assignation § 22-2708: Causing spouse to live in prostitution
- § 22-2709: Detaining an individual in disorderly house for debt there contracted
- § 22-2710: Procuring for house of prostitution
- § 22-2711: Procuring for third persons § 22-2712: Operating house of prostitution
- § 22-2713: Premises occupied for lewdness, assignation, or prostitution declared nuisance
- § 22-2714: Abatement of nuisance under § 22-2713 by injunction--Temporary injunction
- § 22-2715: Abatement of nuisance under § 22-2713 by injunction--Trial; dismissal of complaint; prosecution; costs
- § 22-2716: Violation of injunction granted under § 22-2714
- § 22-2717: Order of abatement; sale of property; entry of closed premises punishable as contempt
- § 22-2718: Disposition of proceeds of sale
- § 22-2719: Bond for abatement; order for delivery of premises; effect of release
- § 22-2720: Tax for maintaining such nuisance
- § 22-2722: Keeping bawdy or disorderly houses
- § 22-2723: Property subject to seizure and forfeiture
§ 22-2701: Inviting for purposes of prostitution prohibited
(a) It shall not be lawful for any person to invite, entice, persuade, or address for the purpose of inviting, enticing, or persuading, any person or persons in the District of Columbia for the purpose of prostitution or any other immoral or lewd purpose. The penalties for violation of this section shall be a fine of $500 and no less than one day but no more than 90 days imprisonment for the first offense, a fine of $750 and no less than one day but no more than 135 days imprisonment for the second offense, and a fine of $1,000 and no less than one day but no more than 180 days imprisonment for the third and each subsequent offense. Any person convicted of a violation of this section may be sentenced to community service as an alternative to, but not in addition to, any term of imprisonment authorized by this section.
(b) Inviting, enticing, persuading, or addressing for the purpose of inviting, enticing, or persuading, for the purpose of prostitution includes, but is not limited to, remaining or wandering about a public place and:
(1) Repeatedly beckoning to, stopping, attempting to stop, or attempting to engage passers-by in conversation for the purpose of prostitution;
(2) Stopping or attempting to stop motor vehicles for the purpose of prostitution; or
(3) Repeatedly interfering with the free passage of other persons for the purpose of prostitution.
§ 22-2701.01: Definitions
For the purposes of this act, the term: (1) "Prostitution" means the engaging, agreeing to engage, or offering to engage in sexual acts or