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AttorneyTom, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Hello. My name is Jason. A few months ago, a friend of

Resolved Question:

Hello. My name is Jason. A few months ago, a friend of mine pled guilty to a class A misdemeanor in NYC(not for soliciting a prostitute) and was put on a 1 year conditional discharge. Since then(before the 1 year is up) that friend has vistited an escort on at least one occassion but was not arrested. For some reason, he has started to become very paronoid(mostly because he's still on conditional discharge) that in the instance that one of the escorts he visited is arrested and provides the police with his contact info that he will be in serious trouble. I am aware of the fact that soliciting a prositute is a crime and am aware of how one is in violation of that crime. My question is less of knowing the specific details of when one is in breach of that law but more in regards XXXXX XXXXX likelihood of my friend getting arrested/prosecuted. From the little research I've done online, it seems that most Johns are arrested in stings and raids and not in the manner described above(where a prostitute gives the name to a cop after the fact). Also, I read somewhere online that in NYC only about 5% of Johns that are even arrested end up getting convictions for solicitation.

I have also read that when the above becomes a federal case, the Johns are usually only prosecuted either if there is proof of transferring along state lines or if there's some kind of money trail. My friend did not pay with credit card but with cash and it was only once.

But let's say that state/city police get involved in the investigation. Every day in NYC, thousands of people visit escorts and I understand that most are not caught. Not to mention that most Johns seem to be caught in raids and stings which obviously didn't happen here.

What I'm really looking for is something to tell my friend so that he doesn't freak out anymore. Without video proof, a recording, proof of payment by credit card or bank transfer, etc; how can a prosecutor prove that a person solicited a prositute just becase an escort says so and shows that person's name on a call list(client list)?

It just sounds somewhat far-fetched to me, but maybe you can shed some light on it.


Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 6 years ago.

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Thank you for your question!

As you've pointed out, most people who solicit prostitutes aren't caught. While the law is certainly enforced, officers typically have been things to do than to ask prostitutes dig back into their memories and recall specific Johns so that they might be charged with a crime.

That said, even without video tapes, credit cards, etc., a John could potentially be prosecuted and convicted if a witness was willing to testify. In other words, a prostitute could potentially testify against a John. On the other hand, that could be bad for the prostitute's business, as well.

When someone has committed a crime and fears prosecution, and when there is no evidence that the crime has even been reported, often the best thing an individual can do is relax and avoid worrying about something until there's actually something to worry about. As you said, most people who engage in prostitution never hear anything about it. Further, law enforcement officers have plenty of people to catch through stings, helping them to gather valuable and strong evidence, without digging back into history and working solely from a prostitute's recollection, assuming she's even willing to testify.

Please do not shoot the messenger.
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