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Prostitution Laws of the District of Columbia


§ 22-2701: Inviting for purposes of prostitution prohibited§ 22-2713: Premises occupied for lewdness, assignation, or prostitution declared nuisance
§ 22-2701.01: Definitions§ 22-2714: Abatement of nuisance under § 22-2713 by injunction--Temporary injunction
§ 22-2703: Suspension of sentence; conditions; enforcement § 22-2715: Abatement of nuisance under § 22-2713 by injunction--Trial; dismissal of complaint; prosecution; costs
§ 22-2705: Pandering; inducing or compelling an individual to engage in prostitution§ 22-2716: Violation of injunction granted under § 22-2714
§ 22-2706: Compelling an individual to live life of prostitution against his or her will§ 22-2717: Order of abatement; sale of property; entry of closed premises punishable as contempt
§ 22-2707: Procuring; receiving money or other valuable thing for arranging assignation § 22-2718: Disposition of proceeds of sale
§ 22-2708: Causing spouse to live in prostitution§ 22-2719: Bond for abatement; order for delivery of premises; effect of release
§ 22-2709: Detaining an individual in disorderly house for debt there contracted§ 22-2720: Tax for maintaining such nuisance
§ 22-2710: Procuring for house of prostitution § 22-2722: Keeping bawdy or disorderly houses
§ 22-2711: Procuring for third persons § 22-2723: Property subject to seizure and forfeiture
§ 22-2712: Operating house of prostitution

§ 22-2701: Inviting for purposes of prostitution prohibited
(a) It shall not be lawful for any person to invite, entice, persuade, or address for the purpose of inviting, enticing, or persuading, any person or persons in the District of Columbia for the purpose of prostitution or any other immoral or lewd purpose. The penalties for violation of this section shall be a fine of $500 and no less than one day but no more than 90 days imprisonment for the first offense, a fine of $750 and no less than one day but no more than 135 days imprisonment for the second offense, and a fine of $1,000 and no less than one day but no more than 180 days imprisonment for the third and each subsequent offense. Any person convicted of a violation of this section may be sentenced to community service as an alternative to, but not in addition to, any term of imprisonment authorized by this section.

(b) Inviting, enticing, persuading, or addressing for the purpose of inviting, enticing, or persuading, for the purpose of prostitution includes, but is not limited to, remaining or wandering about a public place and:

(1) Repeatedly beckoning to, stopping, attempting to stop, or attempting to engage passers-by in conversation for the purpose of prostitution;

(2) Stopping or attempting to stop motor vehicles for the purpose of prostitution; or

(3) Repeatedly interfering with the free passage of other persons for the purpose of prostitution.

§ 22-2701.01: Definitions
For the purposes of this act, the term:

(1) "Prostitution" means the engaging, agreeing to engage, or offering to engage in sexual acts or contacts with another person in return for a fee.

(2) "Public place" means any street, sidewalk, bridge, alley, plaza, park, driveway, parking lot, transportation facility, or the doorways and entrance ways to any building which fronts on any of these locations, or a motor vehicle in or on any such place.

(3) "Arranging for prostitution" means any act to procure or attempt to procure or otherwise arrange for the purpose of prostitution, regardless of whether such procurement or arrangement occurred or a fee was paid.

(4) "Solicitation for prostitution" means inviting, enticing, persuading, or addressing for the purpose of inviting, enticing, or persuading another to engage in acts including, but not limited to, remaining or wandering about a public place; and

(i) Repeatedly beckoning to, stopping, attempting to stop, or attempting to engage passers-by in conversation for the purpose of prostitution;

(ii) Stopping or attempting to stop motor vehicles for the purpose of prostitution; or

(iii) Repeatedly interfering with the free passage of other persons for the purpose of prostitution.

§ 22-2703: Suspension of sentence; conditions; enforcement
The court may impose conditions upon any person found guilty under § 22- 2701, and so long as such person shall comply therewith to the satisfaction of the court the imposition or execution of sentence may be suspended for such period as the court may direct; and the court may at or before the expiration of such period remand such sentence or cause it to be executed. Conditions thus imposed by the court may include an order to stay away from the area within which the offense or offenses occurred, submission to medical and mental examination, diagnosis and treatment by proper public health and welfare authorities, and such other terms and conditions as the court may deem best for the protection of the community and the punishment, control, and rehabilitation of the defendant. The Department of Human Services of the District of Columbia, the Women's Bureau of the Police Department, and the probation officers of the court are authorized and directed to perform such duties as may be directed by the court in effectuating compliance with the conditions so imposed upon any defendant.

§ 22-2705: Pandering; inducing or compelling an individual to engage in prostitution
Any person who, within the District of Columbia shall place or cause, induce, procure, or compel the placing of any individual in the charge or custody of any other person, or in a house of prostitution, with intent that such individual shall engage in prostitution, or who shall compel, induce, entice, or procure or attempt to compel, induce, entice, or procure any individual to reside with any other person for immoral purposes or for the purpose of prostitution, or who shall compel, induce, entice, or procure or attempt to compel, induce, entice, or procure any such individual to reside or continue to reside in a house of prostitution, or compel, induce, entice, or procure or attempt to compel, induce, entice, or procure such individual to engage in prostitution, or who takes or detains an individual against the individual's will, with intent to compel such individual by force, threats, menace, or duress to marry the abductor or to marry any other person; or any parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of the person of an individual, who consents to the individual's taking or detention by any person, for the purpose of prostitution or sexual intercourse, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and by a fine of not more than $1,000.

§ 22-2706: Compelling an individual to live life of prostitution against his or her will
Any person who, within the District of Columbia, by threats or duress, detains any individual against such individual's will, for the purpose of prostitution or sexual intercourse, or any person who shall compel any individual against such individual's will, to reside with him or her or with any other person for the purposes of prostitution or sexual intercourse, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and a fine of not more than $1,000.

§ 22-2707: Procuring; receiving money or other valuable thing for arranging assignation
Any person who, within the District of Columbia, shall receive any money or other valuable thing for or on account of arranging for or causing any individual to have sexual intercourse with any other person or to engage in prostitution, debauchery, or any other immoral act, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and a fine of not more than $1,000.

§ 22-2708: Causing spouse to live in prostitution
Any person who by force, fraud, intimidation, or threats, places or leaves, or procures any other person or persons to place or leave, a spouse in a house of prostitution, or to lead a life of prostitution, shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned not less than one year nor more than 10 years.

§ 22-2709: Detaining an individual in disorderly house for debt there contracted
Any person or persons who attempt to detain any individual in a disorderly house or house of prostitution because of any debt or debts such individual has contracted, or is said to have contracted, while living in said house of prostitution or disorderly house shall be guilty of a felony, and on conviction thereof be imprisoned for a term not less than one year nor more than 5 years.

§ 22-2710: Procuring for house of prostitution
Any person who, within the District of Columbia, shall pay or receive any money or other valuable thing for or on account of the procuring for, or placing in, a house of prostitution, for purposes of sexual intercourse, prostitution, debauchery, or other immoral act, any individual, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and by a fine of not more than $1,000.

§ 22-2711: Procuring for third persons
Any person who, within the District of Columbia, shall receive any money or other valuable thing for or on account of procuring and placing in the charge or custody of another person for sexual intercourse, prostitution, debauchery, or other immoral purposes any individual shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and by a fine of not more than $1,000.

§ 22-2712: Operating house of prostitution
Any person who, within the District of Columbia, knowingly, shall accept, receive, levy, or appropriate any money or other valuable thing, without consideration other than the furnishing of a place for prostitution or the servicing of a place for prostitution, from the proceeds or earnings of any individual engaged in prostitution shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and by a fine of not more than $1,000.

§ 22-2713: Premises occupied for lewdness, assignation, or prostitution declared nuisance
(a) Whoever shall erect, establish, continue, maintain, use, own, occupy, or release any building, erection, or place used for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution in the District of Columbia is guilty of a nuisance, and the building, erection, or place, or the ground itself in or upon which such lewdness, assignation, or prostitution is conducted, permitted, or carried on, continued, or exists, and the furniture, fixtures, musical instruments, and contents are also declared a nuisance, and shall be enjoined and abated as hereinafter provided.

(b) Whoever shall erect, establish, continue, maintain, use, own, occupy, or release any building, erection, or place which is resorted to by persons using controlled substances in violation of Chapter 9 of Title 48, for the purpose of using any of these substances or for the purpose of keeping or selling any of these substances in violation of Chapter 9 of Title 48, is guilty of a nuisance, and the building, erection, or place, or the ground itself in or upon which such activity is conducted, permitted, or carried on, continued, or exists, and the furniture, fixtures, and contents thereof, are also declared a nuisance and disorderly house, and shall be enjoined and abated as hereinafter provided.

§ 22-2714: Abatement of nuisance under § 22-2713 by injunction--Temporary injunction
Whenever a nuisance is kept, maintained, or exists, as defined in § 22-2713, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, the Attorney General of the United States, the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia, or any citizen of the District of Columbia, may maintain an action in equity in the name of the United States of America or in the name of the District of Columbia, upon the relation of such United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, the Attorney General of the United States, the Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia, or citizen, to perpetually enjoin said nuisance, the person or persons conducting or maintaining the same, and the owner or agent of the building or ground upon which said nuisance exists. In such action the court, or a judge in vacation, shall, upon the presentation of a petition therefor alleging that the nuisance complained of exists, allow a temporary writ of injunction, without bond, if it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the court or judge by evidence in the form of affidavits, depositions, oral testimony, or otherwise, as the complainant may elect, unless the court or judge by previous order shall have directed the form and manner in which it shall be presented. Three days notice, in writing, shall be given the defendant of the hearing of the application, and if then continued at his instance the writ as prayed shall be granted as a matter of course. When an injunction has been granted it shall be binding on the defendant throughout the District of Columbia and any violation of the provisions of injunction herein provided shall be a contempt as hereinafter provided.

§ 22-2715: Abatement of nuisance under § 22-2713 by injunction--Trial; dismissal of complaint; prosecution; costs
The action when brought shall be triable at the first term of court, after due and timely service of the notice has been given, and in such action evidence of the general reputation of the place shall be admissible for the purpose of proving the existence of said nuisance. If the complaint is filed by a citizen, it shall not be dismissed, except upon a sworn statement made by the complainant and the complainant's attorney, setting forth the reasons why the action should be dismissed, and the dismissal approved by the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia or the Attorney General of the United States of America in writing or in open court. If the court is of the opinion that the action ought not to be dismissed, it may direct the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia to prosecute said action to judgment; and if the action is continued more than 1 term of court, any citizen of the District of Columbia, or the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, may be substituted for the complaining party and prosecute said action to judgment. If the action is brought by a citizen, and the court finds there was no reasonable ground or cause for said action, the costs may be taxed to such citizen.

§ 22-2716: Violation of injunction granted under § 22-2714
In case of the violation of any injunction granted under the provisions of § 22-2714, the court, or, in vacation, a judge thereof, may summarily try and punish the offender. The proceedings shall be commenced by filing with the clerk of the court an information, under oath, setting out the alleged facts constituting such violation, upon which the court or judge shall cause a warrant to issue, under which the defendant shall be arrested. The trial may be had upon affidavits, or either party may at any stage of the proceedings demand the production and oral examination of the witnesses. A party found guilty of contempt, under the provisions of this section, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 or by imprisonment in the District Jail not less than three nor more than 6 months or by both fine and imprisonment.

§ 22-2717: Order of abatement; sale of property; entry of closed premises punishable as contempt
If the existence of the nuisance be established in an action as provided in §§ 22-2713 to 22-2720, or in a criminal proceeding, an order of abatement shall be entered as a part of the judgment in the case which order shall direct the removal from the building or place of all fixtures, furniture, musical instruments, or movable property used in conducting the nuisance, and shall direct the sale thereof in the manner provided for the sale of chattels under execution, and the effectual closing of the building or place against its use for any purpose, and so keeping it closed for a period of 1 year, unless sooner released. If any person shall break and enter or use a building, erection, or place so directed to be closed such person shall be punished as for contempt, as provided in § 22-2716.

§ 22-2718: Disposition of proceeds of sale
The proceeds of the sale of the personal property as provided in § 22-2717, shall be applied in the payment of the costs of the action and abatement and the balance, if any, shall be paid to the defendant.

§ 22-2719: Bond for abatement; order for delivery of premises; effect of release
If the owner appears and pays all costs of the proceeding and files a bond, with sureties to be approved by the clerk, in the full value of the property, to be ascertained by the court or, in vacation, by the Collector of Taxes of the District of Columbia, conditioned that such owner will immediately abate said nuisance and prevent the same from being established or kept within a period of 1 year thereafter, the court, or, in vacation, the judge, may, if satisfied of such owner's good faith, order the premises closed under the order of abatement to be delivered to said owner and said order of abatement canceled so far as the same may relate to said property; and if the proceeding be an action in equity and said bond be given and costs therein paid before judgment and order of abatement, the action shall be thereby abated as to said building only. The release of the property under the provisions of this section shall not release it from judgment, lien, penalty, or liability to which it may be subject by law.

§ 22-2720: Tax for maintaining such nuisance
Whenever a permanent injunction issues against any person for maintaining a nuisance as herein defined, or against any owner or agent of the building kept or used for the purpose prohibited by §§ 22-2713 to 22-2720, there shall be assessed against said building and the ground upon which the same is located and against the person or persons maintaining said nuisance, and the owner or agent of said premises, a tax of $300. The assessment of said tax shall be made by the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue of the District of Columbia and shall be made within 3 months from the date of the granting of the permanent injunction. In case the Director fails or neglects to make said assessment the same shall be made by the Chief of Police, and a return of said assessment shall be made to the Collector of Taxes. Said tax shall be a perpetual lien upon all property, both personal and real used for the purpose of maintaining said nuisance, and the payment of said tax shall not relieve the person or building from any other penalties provided by law. The provisions of the law relating to the collection and distribution of taxes upon personal and real property shall govern in the collection and distribution of the tax herein prescribed in so far as the same are applicable and not in conflict with the provisions of said sections.

§ 22-2722: Keeping bawdy or disorderly houses
Whoever is convicted of keeping a bawdy or disorderly house in the District shall be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 180 days, or both.

§ 22-2723: Property subject to seizure and forfeiture
(a) The following are subject to forfeiture:

(1) All conveyances, including aircraft, vehicles or vessels, which are used, or intended for use, to transport, or in any manner to facilitate a violation of this act, provided that:

(A) No conveyance used by any person as a common carrier in the course of transacting business as a common carrier is subject to forfeiture under this section unless it appears that the owner or other person in charge of the conveyance is a consenting party or privy to a violation of this act;

(B) No conveyance is subject to forfeiture under this section by reason of any act or omission that the owner establishes was committed or omitted without the owner's knowledge or consent;

(C) A forfeiture of a conveyance encumbered by a bona fide security interest is subject to the interest of the secured party if the secured party neither had knowledge of nor consented to the act or omission; or

(D) Where the conveyance is not being driven by the owner of the conveyance, there is a presumption that the owner is without knowledge of the illegal act, and therefore the conveyance should not be forfeited.

(2) All money, coins, and currency which has been used, or was intended for use, in violation of this act.

(a-1)

(1) A lien in favor of the District of Columbia is hereby created in an amount equal to the costs of towing, storing, and administrative processing of a conveyance seized and subject to forfeiture pursuant to this act.

(2) The Mayor, or his or her designee, shall establish a reasonable cost for the towing, storing, and administrative processing of seized conveyances.

(3) The Corporation Counsel of the District of Columbia, or his or her designee, may agree to release a lien by stipulation with the registered owner or lienholder of a seized conveyance.

(b) All seizures and forfeitures of property under this section shall be pursuant to § 48-905.02, except that seized money, coins, and currency shall be deposited as provided in subchapter IIA of Chapter 5 of Title 23 of the District of Columbia Official Code.


(Source: http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=DCC-1000)

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