​​Child Prostitution Laws in the United States

Child prostitution allegations are serious, and you need an experienced defense attorney to help you traverse these charges. The federal lawyers at the Zoukis Consulting Group can defend you in court. Call us today for an initial consultation.

Child Prostitution Laws Per the Department of Justice 

As stated above, child prostitution laws vary by state. For instance, some states like California have laws where a minor cannot be charged with prostitution, but the client will be charged with several offenses.

However, the federal government has several laws in place that may apply to an offender:

18 U.S.C § 1591 – Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion

Statute 18 U.S.C § 1591 prohibits anyone knowingly recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, or maintaining a minor (someone under 18 years of age) for a “commercial sex act.” The definition of the “commercial sex act” is both comprehensive and very simple; “any sex act, on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.”

This statute states that the offender will receive no less than 15 years to life if the juvenile is under the age of 14 and no less than ten years to life if the youth is under the age of 18.

18 U.S.C. § 2421 – Transportation generally

Statute 18 U.S.C. § 2421 encompasses prostitution trafficking in general. The statute states that an offender knowingly transporting any individual through interstate, foreign, or to any Territory or Possession of the United States will be charged with a criminal offense and shall be fined and/or serve no more than ten years in prison.

 18 U.S.C. § 2422 – Coercion and enticement

Statute 18 U.S.C. § 2422 focuses on coercion and enticement to commit an act of prostitution. The statute states:

Any offender that knowingly “persuades, induces, entices, or coerces” an individual to travel in interstate or foreign commerce or any Territory or Possession of the United States for the purpose of prostitution will see a fine and/or serve no more than 20 years in prison.

If an offender that knowingly uses any facility or means (mail, internet, etc.) to persuade, induce, entice, or coerce someone under the age of 18 years old for prostitution or any other sexual activity faces fines and/or imprisoned no less than ten years to life.

18 U.S.C. § 2423 – Transportation of minors

Statute 18 U.S.C. § 2423 covers several instances regarding the transportation of minors for prostitution:

  • Transportation With Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity

This section addresses those transporting a minor (under the age of 18) “in interstate or foreign commerce, or any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States” for prostitution. The offender receives a fine and/or imprisonment for no less than ten years in prison. 

  • Travel With Intent to Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct

This section addresses an offender that travels “in interstate commerce or travels into the United States, or a United States citizen or an alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States who travels in foreign commerce” for illicit sexual activity with an individual under 18. Under this section, an offender is fined and/or serves no more than 30 years in prison.

  • Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct in Foreign Places

This section addresses any “United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence” that travels or moves to a foreign country and engages in illicit sexual conduct can receive a fine and/or serve no more than 30 years in prison.

  • It also includes offenders that facilitate travel as well as attempts and conspiracy.

18 U.S.C. § 2425 – Use of interstate facilities to transmit information about a minor

Finally, section 18 U.S.C. § 2425 addresses any communications an offender has, “using the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce,” to transmit information such as name or electronic mail address for sexual activity with an individual under the age of 16. The offender will be fined and/or serve no more than five years in prison. 

Child prostitution laws carry severe punishments for a good reason, and it doesn’t stop with the United States. Although countries worldwide prosecute offenders of child prostitution differently, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 34 protects children from “sexual exploitation and abuse, including prostitution and involvement in pornography.”

Contact an Experienced Child Prostitution Lawyer Today

If you are in need of assistance with a case related to child prostitution offenses, don’t hesitate to contact an expert at the Zoukis Consulting Group.

Our attorneys will provide you with the insight and legal advice necessary for your situation.

Call us today to schedule a consultation on your case.