Penalties for Soliciting/Engaging in Prostitution

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In Minnesota, there are severe criminal penalties for hiring or agreeing to engage in prostitution. Law enforcement around Minnesota, including in cities such as St. Cloud, St. Paul, Bloomington and Minnetonka, routinely use “sting” operations to catch a would-be encounter. Penalties for soliciting a prostitute range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the facts of each case.

Felony Charges for Solicitation:

Criminal penalties of up to 20 years in prison and/or fine up to $40,000 for conviction involving the following:

(1) engaging in prostitution with an individual under the age of 13 years

(2) hiring, offering or agreeing to hire an individual under the age of 13 years to engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact

(3) hiring, offering or agreeing to hire an individual who the actor reasonably believes to be under the age of 13 years to engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact.

Criminal penalties of up to 10 years in prison and/or fine up to $20,000 for conviction involving the following:

(1) engaging in prostitution with an individual under the age of 16 years but at least 13 years

(2) hiring, offering or agreeing to hire an individual under the age of 16 years but at least 13 years to engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact

(3) hiring, offering or agreeing to hire an individual who the actor reasonably believes to be under the age of 16 years but at least 13 years to engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact.

Criminal penalties of up to 5 years in prison and/or fine up to $10,000 for conviction involving the following:

(1) engaging in prostitution with an individual under the age of 18 years but at least 16 years

(2) hiring, offering or agreeing to hire an individual under the age of 18 years but at least 16 years to engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact

(3) hiring, offering or agreeing to hire an individual who the actor reasonably believes to be under the age of 18 years but at least 16 years to engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact.

Gross Misdemeanor Charges for Solicitation

In Minnesota it is a gross misdemeanor for soliciting prostitution in a public place. Repeat offenders also may face enhanced gross misdemeanor charges. Penalties for a gross misdemeanor include up to 365 days in jail and/or a fine up to $3000. In Minnesota, whoever, while acting as a patron, intentionally does any of the following while in a public place is guilty of a gross misdemeanor:

(1) engages in prostitution with an individual 18 years of age or older

(2) hires, offers to hire, or agrees to hire an individual 18 years of age or older to engage in sexual penetration or sexual contact.

Misdemeanor Charges for Solicitation

Whoever engages in prostitution with an individual 18 years of age or older or hires, offers to hire, or agrees to hire an individual 18 years of age or older to engage in sexual contact, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Punishment for a misdemeanor is up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine. Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor solicitation must, at a minimum, be sentenced to pay a fine of at least $500.

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