Prostitution in Tennessee can carry a minimum of seven days in jail
Prostitution, also referred to as “the world’s oldest profession,” still remains illegal, even among consenting adults. This charge is often alleged to have occurred online through on-line classified sites such as Backpage or Craigslist. This charge can also result from a person-to-person transaction in which an unidentified officer pretends to be a person interested in hiring a prostitute, or a ‘john.’
There is a common misconception that when an undercover officer pretends to be a john, there will be a defense of entrapment. Entrapment only results when an officer persuades an otherwise individual to commit the act – merely providing the opportunity will not result in an entrapment defense.
The offense is more serious when it occurs within a limited range of a school or church. However, due to the expansive geographical interpretations, an individual will likely be charged with this enhancement without even knowing of a nearby school or church.
This conviction can result in a minimum seven days of jail, in addition to public stigma and embarrassment. In some circumstances, a person can be charged with the serious felony. If you have been charged with prostitution or aggravated prostitution, please contact me immediately to discuss how we can defend your reputation and your freedom.
Tenn. Code Ann. 39-13-512(6). “Prostitution” means engaging in, or offering to engage in, sexual activity as a business or being an inmate in a house of prostitution or loitering in a public place for the purpose of being hired to engage in sexual activity.
Tenn. Code Ann. 39-13-513. Prostitution — Defenses
(a) A person commits an offense under this section who engages in prostitution.
(b) (1) Prostitution is a Class B misdemeanor.
(2) Prostitution committed within one hundred feet (100′) of a church or within one and one-half (11/2) miles of a school, such distance being that established by § 49-6-2101, for state-funded school transportation, is a Class A misdemeanor.
(3) A person convicted of prostitution within one and one-half (11/2) miles of a school shall, in addition to any other authorized punishment, be sentenced to at least seven (7) days of incarceration and be fined at least one thousand dollars ($1,000).
(c) As used in subsection (b), “school” means all public and private schools that conduct classes in any grade from kindergarten through grade twelve (K-12).
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, if it is determined after a reasonable detention for investigative purposes, that a person suspected of or charged with a violation of this section is under eighteen (18) years of age, that person shall be immune from prosecution for prostitution as a juvenile or adult. A law enforcement officer who takes a person under eighteen (18) years of age into custody for a suspected violation of this section shall, upon determination that the person is a minor, provide the minor with the telephone number for the national human trafficking resource center hotline and release the minor to the custody of a parent or legal guardian.
(e) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that a person charged with a violation of this section was so charged for conduct that occurred because the person was a victim of an act committed in violation of § 39-13-307 or § 39-13-309, or because the person was a victim as defined under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, compiled in 22 U.S.C. § 7102.
Tenn. Code Ann. 39-13-516. Aggravated prostitution
(a) A person commits aggravated prostitution when, knowing that such person is infected with HIV, the person engages in sexual activity as a business or is an inmate in a house of prostitution or loiters in a public place for the purpose of being hired to engage in sexual activity.
(b) For the purposes of this section, “HIV” means the human immunodeficiency virus or any other identified causative agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require that an infection with HIV has occurred in order for a person to have committed aggravated prostitution.
(d) Aggravated prostitution is a Class C felony.