The Crime of Compelling Prostitution in New York has received some publicity recently as a result of a March indictment brought in Queens County. That prosecution alleges that Gary Council, of Ozone Park, led a gang who held a 15-year-old Long Island girl captive and forced her into acting as a prostitute for their benefit.
The indictment alleges that the group repeatedly raped the girl and gave her Ecstasy pills while pimping her out.
Under New York Penal Law Section 230.33 , “a person is guilty of compelling prostitution when, being twenty-one years of age or older, he or she knowingly advances prostitution by compelling a person less than sixteen years old, by force or intimidation, to engage in prostitution.”
Compelling prostitution is a class B felony.
In New York, it is not a defense to this crime to assert that the actor did not know the child was less than sixteen years old.
Currently, New York law classifies the crime of “Compelling Prostitution” as a non violent felony. However, legislation will soon be brought in the State Senate and Assembly to have this crime and other serious prostitution related offenses re-classified as violent felonies.
If this legislation passes, the minimum jail terms for these crimes will be increased significantly.
This article is written for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Furthermore, laws change frequently, so the statutes cited above should not be considered accurate or current at the time you may read this article.
If you require assistance with your own legal problem or situation, seek the advice of an attorney of your own choosing.