Promoting Prostitution Law & Legal Definition


Promoting prostitution or doing any acts for the purpose of promoting prostitution is an offence. Promotion can be by aiding a person to commit or engage in prostitution, procuring or soliciting patrons for prostitution, providing persons for prostitution purposes or permitting premises to be regularly used for prostitution purposes. There are state specific laws as to what constitutes promotion.

For example, in Pennsylvania, according to Section 18 Pa.C.S. § 5902 (b) a person who knowingly promotes prostitution of another commits a misdemeanor or felony. The following acts are considered as promoting prostitution.

  • Owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise keeping, alone or in association with others, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business;
  • Procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or a place in a house of prostitution for one who would be an inmate;
  • Encouraging, inducing, or otherwise intentionally causing another to become or remain a prostitute;
  • Soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute;
  • Procuring a prostitute for a patron;
  • Transporting a person into or within this Commonwealth with intent to promote the engaging in prostitution by that person, or procuring or paying for transportation with that intent;
  • Leasing or otherwise permitting a place controlled by the actor, alone or in association with others, to be regularly used for prostitution or the promotion of prostitution, or failure to make reasonable effort to abate such use by ejecting the tenant, notifying law enforcement authorities, or other legally available means; or Soliciting, receiving, or agreeing to receive any benefit for doing or agreeing to do anything forbidden by this subsection.

As used in the section “house of prostitution” means any place where prostitution or promotion of prostitution is regularly carried on by one person under the control, management or supervision of another and “inmate” means a person who engages in prostitution in or through the agency of a house of prostitution.

The relevant part of the law as it appears in the statute.

18 Pa.C.S. § 5902

“(b) PROMOTING PROSTITUTION. --A person who knowingly promotes prostitution of another commits a misdemeanor or felony as provided in subsection (c) of this section. The following acts shall, without limitation of the foregoing, constitute promoting prostitution:

(1) owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise keeping, alone or in association with others, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business;

(2) procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or a place in a house of prostitution for one who would be an inmate;

(3) encouraging, inducing, or otherwise intentionally causing another to become or remain a prostitute;

(4) soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute;

(5) procuring a prostitute for a patron;

(6) transporting a person into or within this Commonwealth with intent to promote the engaging in prostitution by that person, or procuring or paying for transportation with that intent;

(7) leasing or otherwise permitting a place controlled by the actor, alone or in association with others, to be regularly used for prostitution or the promotion of prostitution, or failure to make reasonable effort to abate such use by ejecting the tenant, notifying law enforcement authorities, or other legally available means; or

(8) soliciting, receiving, or agreeing to receive any benefit for doing or agreeing to do anything forbidden by this subsection.

(c) GRADING OF OFFENSES UNDER SUBSECTION (B).--

(1) An offense under subsection (b) constitutes a felony of the third degree if:

(i) the offense falls within paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2) or (b)(3);

(ii) the actor compels another to engage in or promote prostitution;

(iii) the actor promotes prostitution of a child under the age of 16 years, whether or not he is aware of the age of the child;

(iv) the actor promotes prostitution of his spouse, child, ward or any person for whose care, protection or support he is responsible; or

(v) the person knowingly promoted prostitution of another who was HIV positive or infected with the AIDS virus.

(2) Otherwise the offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree.”