Patronizing A Prostitute In New York Could Be A Losing Proposition because of new law enforcement strategies being employed by the NYPD. “Operation Losing Proposition” employs male and female police officers posing as prostitutes to entice those wishing to patronize a prostitute.
Patronizing a Prostitute in the Third Degree is a class A misdemeanor in New York, but more serious felony charges can be brought depending on the age of the prostitute being solicited. Read the applicable New York Penal Law Sections here.
New York’s Prostitution Laws were made more strict as a result of proposed legislation supported and signed by New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who later became notorious for his own “activities.”
Curiously, under current New York law, it is a more serious crime to buy sex than it is to sell sex, since prostitution is a class B misdemeanor. Contrast this to New York State drug laws, where a seller typically faces far more serious charges than a buyer.
To add insult to injury, the NYPD is also seizing automobiles used by those caught attempting to patronize a prostitute. This raises the possibility that the police may seek to take these automobiles under Civil Forfeiture statutes, which permit the government to take a person’s property if it was used as a “fruit or instrumentality of a crime.”
Read our prior post for more information about Prostitution Laws in New York.
Please keep in mind that the information contained in this article is not intended to be legal advice, and therefore it should not be relied upon as such. Also, keep in mind that the law is constantly changing, and statutes are amended frequently. If you have a particular legal issue you need addressed, you should consult an attorney of your choice rather than rely on your own research.