What Is the Difference between Solicitation and Prostitution?
Interviewer: We’re going to cover the solicitation and prostitution laws in Kansas. What is the difference between solicitation and prostitution?
Kansas Has Enacted New Legislation Concerning These Offenses
Paul: Actually, our Kansas legislature just redrafted the laws associated with prostitution, and those laws were enacted. They were approved. They went into effect July 1st of this year, 2013. Now, prosecutors and law enforcement have brand new laws to deal with. These offenses are now addressed in K.S.A. 21-6419 – Selling Sexual Relations; K.S.A. 21-6420 – Promoting the Sale of Sexual Relations; and K.S.A. 21-6421 – Buying Sexual Relations.
The New Legislation Has Limited the Defenses for the Charges and Enhanced the Penalties
The laws are much broader in scope. They are much broader than they were before. The legislature has effectively neutralized some of the effective defenses we had based on the prior language of the statutes.
These statutes are drafted very broadly, and they don’t really distinguish between solicitation and prostitution. The three laws we have now are selling sexual relations, promoting the sale of sexual relations and buying sexual relations. You can imagine from the way the legislature has worded these three new laws, how broad they are. Also, it’s important to know that the penalties have been significantly enhanced.
Most Prostitution Arrests in Kansas Originate from Police Sting Operations
Interviewer: Especially with these new laws being enacted or put in place, explain the process from the beginning to the end following an arrest for prostitution.
In Kansas, the Name of the Charge Is Now Buying Sexual Relations
Paul: The vast, vast majority of the cases that I handle, where a gentleman is charged with “soliciting a prostitute” is what they used to call that, now, they call it buying sexual relations, the vast majority of these cases do involve law enforcement sting operations.
Rarely do you ever have a case where an individual is arrested after having made contact with someone who is in fact selling sexual services. You can imagine that those types of scenarios are rarely detected by law enforcement. These arrests are virtually always made during the course of a law enforcement sting operation.
The Police Frequently Utilize Internet Sites Such as Craigslist or Backpage in Their Sting Operations
One of the police departments in town will work the Sheriff’s Department. They will post a somewhat suggestive advertisement for companionship or massage services on Craigslist or on Backpage, or one of these online advertisement pages, and they will arrange to meet people – frequently at a hotel.
The Meeting between an Undercover Officer and a Potential Customer are Video and Audio Recorded to Use as Evidence
Sometimes, it’s a residence that law enforcement will set up and use for the sting. They’ll wait for the person to arrive. Of course, all of the dialogue is going to be recorded, often with audio and video.
Once the person arrives, the undercover female officer will suggest sexual services outside the scope of lawful companionship or massage. As soon as the suspect agrees to these additional activities or services, the backing police officers will enter – usually through the door to the adjoining room. They’ll formally arrest them and handcuff the prospective client. Now, that person has been arrested and charged with buying or attempting to buy sexual relations.
Call today for an initial consultation to discuss your case: (913) 322-3265. I represent clients accused of prostitution throughout the Kansas City Metro area including the municipalities of Johnson County, Kansas: De Soto, Gardner, Leawood, Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village and Shawnee.
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