The word prostitution possesses the ability to stir controversy whenever it is brought up during a conversation. Prostitution specifically includes indulging in services/favours regarding sex, adultery and fornication merely in exchange for money or other compensation such as property, drugs etc.
Despite existing for many centuries, it is considered a serious offence in the state of Virginia and regarded as a sex crime and a punishable act. The law does not only apply to the one offering sexual services but also includes the solicitor of such services and the liaison involved between them. If found guilty, the person shall be subjected to several charges and penalties.
Solicitation refers to solicitation of prostitution. It can be defined as the use of any means to promote prostitution in any way or form. It includes directing, supervising and/or heading a prostitution business or owning/renting a house to use it for sexual activities in exchange for money. There are two elements to solicitation,
- The solicitor must encourage and assist someone else to engage in sexual act in return for compensation.
- The solicitor aims to facilitate in the desired crime.
The other punishable crimes in accordance with solicitation are indulging in promotion of prostitution, popularly known as ‘pimping’ and direct involvement in human trafficking. Any person culpable of these crimes will be convicted for serious felony charges.
The state of Virginia has mentioned clear laws regarding prostitution and anyone who’s found to be in clear violation of the law shall be held accountable to a class 1 misdemeanor. The law falls under Virginia Code §18.2-346 -18.2-359. The law states that the person subjected to a class 1 misdemeanor shall remain in county jail for a period of twelve months and must pay a fine of $2500, either, or both.
Once being found guilty on the charges of prostitution, the penalty clearly demands that individual must get a standardized STD test specifically for HIV and HEP B and get assigned proper counseling regarding the risk and spread of infection and the health hazards associated with it. In addition to this the state also promotes mental health counseling among those who supply sexual services for money.
Punishment for solicitation varies widely. It depends if the person has previously been convicted for misdemeanors and/or felonies. Class 6 felony charges are applicable when a person takes commission from the earnings of male/female prostitute, acquire money by putting a person in a place for sexual activities and establish a business out of prostitution by detaining people. If the solicited person is a minor or aged less than 16 years, the charge will be of class 5 felony.
The retribution of class 5 and class 6 felonies can result in a prison sentence of a minimum of one year and as many as five years. The penalty depends upon the discretion of the judge and the presence of previous felony charges. People involved in prostitution and solicitation not only face charges and penalties in court but suffer serious consequences in their personal and professional life. Once it shows on their record, it could seriously harm their reputation.