Indiana has a clear stance on prostitution: it is illegal. According to Indiana Code 35-45-4-3, it is a crime to pay, offer, or agree to pay or exchange properties with an escort in exchange for engaging in sexual behavior. This applies regardless of whether the victim has consented or if the intended victim is a law enforcement official. Prostitution and soliciting are two distinct offenses, although they are related.
Prostitution involves knowingly committing a sexual act or offering to commit a sexual act with another person, in exchange for money or property. Solicitation, also known as sponsoring a prostitute, involves knowingly paying or offering to pay someone for a sexual act. Any sexual act can be charged as prostitution or sexual incitement, from intercourse to simple caressing of the genitals. If the prostitute is a victim of sex trafficking, the person accused of sponsoring a prostitute can also be accused of promoting trafficking in persons.
This offense can be charged with a level 5 felony. Although some people in Indiana believe that prostitution should be legalized, it is still illegal in the state and sex workers have no rights. The Indiana legislature rejects the idea that women choose sex work as a source of income and believes that the legalization of sex work in law codifies exploitation. If you advertise, accept, or provide sexual services as an Indiana escort in exchange for money or goods, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for prostitution. Unfortunately, it's common for law enforcement or even prosecutors to violate the constitutional rights of Indianapolis residents facing criminal charges. To find you guilty to charges of prostitution, the prosecution must prove several of the elements listed in Indiana Code 35-45-4-2.Cheating can occur when law enforcement agencies present themselves as sex workers, agents, or pimps and catch defendants encouraging them to engage in the act of prostitution.
If you have been charged with unlawfully proposing escorts in Indiana (more commonly known as soliciting), you should call an Indiana criminal lawyer as soon as possible. It's easy to feel hopeless or defeated when faced with charges related to prostitution, promoting prostitution, or soliciting escorts in Indiana. Your defense will require an investigation into the facts of your case to uncover potentially inadequate law enforcement protocols, weaknesses in the prosecution's arguments, or facts that prove your innocence. However, proving that you are a victim of human trafficking can be more complicated and would require the services of an Indiana lawyer familiar with laws related to human trafficking.