Nevada Sex Trafficking vs. Prostitution Laws
It is easy for Nevada sex trafficking laws to be confused with laws against prostitution. After all, sex trafficking and prostitution are quite connected to each other: they are both sex crimes. However, the main difference between sex trafficking and prostitution is that laws against prostitution are made to catch illegal prostitutes and their customers, while sex trafficking laws are made to catch sex traffickers. To understand what grounds set sex trafficking apart from prostitution, read this blog from criminal defense lawyer Ross Goodman, Esq.
What is prostitution?
The Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) define prostitution as the “act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money”. Bear in mind that prostitution may or may not be legal under particular conditions. This is mainly because prostitution is legal in certain parts of Nevada and illegal in others. Additionally, in parts of Nevada where prostitution is legal, there are strict rules that licensed prostitutes, brothel owners, and brothel patrons must follow to avoid being charged of a law violation.
What is Nevada sex trafficking?
While prostitution is a transaction done by two consenting parties, sex trafficking is mostly not. According to NRS 201.300, Nevada sex trafficking is when a person induces an adult to unlawfully and unwillingly become a prostitute or to continue to engage in prostitution. Other grounds for sex trafficking include:
- Inducing, causing, recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining or maintaining a child to engage in prostitution, or to enter any place within this State in which prostitution is practiced, encouraged or allowed for the purpose of sexual conduct or prostitution;
- Inducing, causing, recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining or maintaining a person by any means, knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact, that threats, violence, force, intimidation, fraud, duress or coercion will be used to cause the person to engage in prostitution, or to enter any place within this State in which prostitution is practiced, encouraged or allowed for the purpose of sexual conduct or prostitution;
- Using threats, violence, force, intimidation, fraud, duress, coercion (by any device or scheme, or by abuse of any position of confidence or authority, or having legal charge) to take, place, harbor, induce, cause, compel or procure a person to engage in prostitution, or to enter any place within this State in which prostitution is practiced, encouraged or allowed for the purpose of sexual conduct or prostitution; or
- Taking or detaining a person with the intent to compel the person by force, violence, threats or duress to marry him or her or any other person.
Can a person be charged with sex trafficking even if s/he’s just a facilitator?
The answer is yes. Nevada sex trafficking laws are clear that a person who facilitates—even if he or she is not the actual, primary sex trafficker—sex trafficking in Las Vegas are punishable by law. People can be considered as sex trafficking facilitators are people who committed or are committing the following:
- Facilitating, arranging, providing, or paying for the transportation of a person to or within this State with the intent of inducing the person to engage in prostitution;
- Selling travel services that facilitate the travel of another person to this State with the knowledge that the other person is traveling to this State for the purpose of:
- Engaging in sexual conduct with a person who has been induced to engage in sexual conduct or prostitution
- Soliciting a child who has been induced to engage in sexual conduct or prostitution
- Engaging in any act involving a child that is prohibited such as the “unlawful to use minor in producing pornography or as a subject of sexual portrayal in performance” and “promotion of sexual performance of minor unlawful.”
- Travels to or within this State by any means with the intent of engaging in:
- Sexual conduct with a person who has been induced to engage in sexual conduct or prostitution with the knowledge that such a person has been induced to engage in such sexual conduct or prostitution
- Any act involving a child that is prohibited by NRS 710 or 200.720
Because prostitution and Nevada sex trafficking differ in legal definition and in which people are considered responsible for the sex crime committed, penalties and defenses for them also differ. Penalties for sex traffickers are heavier than prostitutes and prostitute costumers especially when the one forced into prostitution by the trafficker is a minor or a child.
Just June of 2019, the University of Nevada – Las Vegas studies reported that the most common form of human trafficking in Nevada is sex trafficking. The proportion of sex trafficking victims in Nevada is 89%, higher than the national average of 71%. Therefore, it is not impossible due to unforeseen circumstances for innocent citizens to be falsely accused of Nevada sex trafficking. If you know someone who is being falsely accused of sex trafficking in Las Vegas, get the help of a reliable Las Vegas attorney as soon as possible.