Solicitation of a prostitute involves individuals agreeing to exchange something of value for sex. The agreement can be implied or explicit. In 2015, Seattle changed the name “patronizing a prostitute” to “sexual exploitation.”

When is a Person Guilty of Sexual Exploitation in Seattle?

To be guilty of sexual exploitation, the City must prove that the defendant:

  • Had a prior understanding that they pay a fee to another individual or third party,  as compensation for engaging in sexual conduct; or
  • Paid or agreed to pay the fee pursuant to the agreement of engaging in sexual activity; or
  • Requested or solicited another individual to engage in sexual conduct in return for a fee.

Does “Sexual Conduct” Refer to Sexual Intercourse?

Yes, but it also refers to any type of sexual activity requested. 

What is a “Patronizing a Prostitute” Charge?

A charge of patronizing a prostitution is Washington State’s version of Seattle’s sexual exploitation charge. A defendant is guilty of the state’s crime when they: 

  • Pay a fee, to the individual or third party, as compensation for engaging in sexual conduct; or
  • Pay, or agree to pay, a fee to someone pursuant to an understanding that the defendant pays to engage in sexual conduct with a prostitute; or
  • Requested or solicited another individual to engage in sexual conduct for a fee 

What is the Punishment for Sexual Exploitation and Patronizing a Prostitute?

Since the crimes only differ in name, they are both simple misdemeanors. This means a defendant faces up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. 

Will I Face Any Other Penalties if Convicted of Sexual Exploitation?

Yes. Seattle requires everyone convicted of the crime to provide a DNA sample for analysis and pay a $100 fee for the analysis. Other penalties may require the defendant to:

  • Not be arrested again for sexual exploitation or any other type of solicitation crimes at the city or state level;
  • Remain outside of Seattle unless the requirement would interfere with residence or employment; and
  • Complete terms of sex crime program ordered by court 

Should I Contact a Lawyer about My Case?

Yes, a charge of sexual exploitation may have long-term repercussions. It is in your best interest to contact a criminal lawyer in Seattle immediately about your case.