Escorting and prostitution are frequently confused. Law-abiding citizens can easily get caught up in a law enforcement sting or be falsely accused of prostitution. Formally speaking, escorting is legal. However, when it crosses the line to prostitution, it becomes illegal.

To understand when escorting crosses the line and becomes illegal prostitution in Kentucky, you need to learn about both terms. Keep reading to understand the difference between the two.

What is Prostitution in Lexington, Kentucky?

Prostitution is defined in KRS 529.020. Misdemeanor prostitution is not considered a sex crime and does not require registration as a sex offender in Lexington. 

The elements of prostitution are:

  1. The defendant
  2. Engaged, agreed, or offered
  3. To engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee

Whether you are accused of acting as a prostitute or of soliciting prostitution, it is a Class B Misdemeanor if convicted. 

A “fee” can be money or any other benefit such as gifts. Sometimes the state can convict someone of prostitution if the fee paid to an escort is high enough that it indicates an implied agreement for sexual activity.

What is Escorting in Lexington?

Escorting is legal when it does not involve giving something of value in return for sex. The technical definition of escorting is to accompany someone to an event in return for money. Examples could include attending a dinner, a formal event, a party, a wedding, or other function as someone’s date. 

By itself, escorting is legal. However, if an escort also provides prostitution services, it becomes illegal. Even an implied understanding that sex will take place is enough to cause criminal charges.

Having sex with an escort is a bad idea; it can put you in a murky grey area about whether escort services implied an agreement to engage in sexual conduct. Likewise, if you provide escort services, you should refrain from sexual conduct with clients to stay on the safe side of the law.

What are the Penalties for Prostitution in Kentucky?

If you are convicted of prostitution in Kentucky, you will face the penalties of a Class B Misdemeanor. These penalties include:

  • Up to 90 days jail
  • A $250 fine
  • Mandatory HIV testing

These penalties can be very scary. It is best to avoid any situation that could put you in a grey area between escorting and prostitution. If you are being accused of breaking the law and committing a prostitution offense, contact a criminal defense lawyer for help.

How Can You Defend Against Prostitution Charges in Lexington, Kentucky?

Prostitution cases involving escort services can be challenging to defend because they often come down to a he-said she-said testimony.

 Some defenses that may be available in these cases include:

  • Proving you were unlawfully entrapped by a law enforcement sting
  • Showing that there was never a formal or implied agreement to exchange anything of value for sex
  • Arguing that police obtained evidence in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights
  • Fighting to have incriminating statements suppressed due to Miranda violations
  • Proving that you have been falsely accused by the witness

Of course, every case is different and requires its own unique approach. Criminal cases are an uphill battle, and you need experienced, aggressive legal representation on your team. Contact a criminal defense lawyer for the representation you need.

To learn more, call our law firm at 859-569-4014 or visit our contact us page to send us an email.