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Sex Laws Info

Causing or inciting prostitution for gain


The Sexual Offences Act 2003 created a new offence: causing or inciting prostitution for gain anywhere in the world (Section 52)

"Gain" is defined in Section 54 as

(a) any financial advantage, including the discharge of an obligation to pay or the provision of goods or services (including sexual services) gratuitously or at a discount; or
(b) the goodwill of any person which is or appears likely, in time, to bring financial advantage.

"Prostitute" is defined in Section 51(2) as "a person (A) who, on at least one occasion and whether or not compelled to do so, offers or provides sexual services to another person in return for payment or a promise of payment to A or a third person; "prostitution" is to be interpreted accordingly."

Corroboration is no longer required, although a court may, if it thinks it is appropriate, give a direction as to convicting on uncorroborated evidence.

The offence is a specified sexual offence in respect of which a sentence of imprisonment for public protection may be imposed. Sentencing ranges will reflect aggravating and mitigating factors:

  1. evidence of physical / mental coercion: 2 - 5 years custody
  2. no coercion or corruption but offender is closely involved in victim's prostitution: 26 weeks to 2 years custody
  3. no coercion or corruption and involvement of offender is minimal: non-custodial*

*There may be a possibility, depending on all the circumstances, that

(i) advertising seeking to recruit prostitutes from the general public, and
(ii) the facilitation of the entry of a member of the public into prostitution, could both fall foul of this law.