Prostitution Laws in Minnesota

Prostitution is illegal in Minnesota, and the penalties for pimping, solicitation, or selling sexual favors are often strict.

Prostitution Charges

Individuals who solicit prostitution services from adult prostitutes can incur a wide range of penalties depending on the circumstances of the arresting incident. If the act happened in a public place, the convicted offender pays fines up to $1,500 or performs court-ordered community service. If it occurred in private, the minimum fine is $500. Penalties for customers of adult prostitutes increase with subsequent convictions. Additionally, if the act occurred in a school zone or children’s park, the penalties increase.

Penalties for prostitutes typically involve misdemeanor charges, fines, and in some cases jail time. In Minnesota, prostitutes who engage in paid sexual acts in public with customers 18 or older receive a gross misdemeanor charge, which may entail up to one year in jail and $3,000 in fines. If the act occurred in private, the penalty is up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Prior convictions will lead to gross misdemeanor charges, and loitering in public to engage in prostitution is a misdemeanor charge as well.

Sex Offender Registration

An individual convicted of sex trafficking or hiring underage prostitutes in Minnesota must register as a sex offender. This registration entails significant effects on one’s life, including work and residency restrictions, and limiting your social engagement opportunities. Sex offender registration is available for the public to search, and people who live near you or work with you may not want to associate with a known sex offender.

What is Sex Trafficking?

Sex trafficking is a particularly heinous crime that describes pressuring or inducing another person into prostitution. Sex trafficking in the first degree describes inducing or soliciting a person under the age of 18 into prostitution, promoting prostitution of any person under 18 years of age, or engaging in any activity that enables sex trafficking of individuals under 18. Additionally, sex trafficking in the first degree may also apply to anyone who profits from prostitution of people under 18.

Sex trafficking in the second degree describes soliciting or inducing another person into prostitution, promoting another person’s prostitution services, or knowingly profiting from prostitution. Second-degree sex trafficking charges typically lead to a maximum of 15 years in prison and fines up to $40,000. First-degree sex trafficking charges may result in a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $50,000. Multiple offenses can increase the penalty maximum up to 25 years in prison and $60,000 in fines.

Defenses and Protections for Victims

Many sex trafficking cases involve prostitutes who were coerced, intimidated, or otherwise compelled into prostitution against their will, and these individuals typically avoid prostitution convictions. Additionally, individuals who unknowingly profit from prostitution, for example, a prostitute’s elderly parent, are exempt from charges in most cases. Foster care facilities or recovery programs that house child prostitutes aren’t liable for housing-related prostitution charges common in some other situations.

The court also offers various protections for children or adults who escape sex trafficking and prostitution. Parents or guardians of at-risk children can secure protection orders if they believe another person is trying to coerce those children into prostitution. Mankato residents and anyone else who wishes to learn more about the prostitution and sex trafficking laws in Minnesota or to discuss legal options concerning a prostitution or sex trafficking charge can reach out to the attorneys at Knutson+Casey.