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Patronizing a Prostitute

Utah Code Section: 76-10-1303

Elements

76-10-1303.  Patronizing a prostitute. 

(1)An individual is guilty of patronizing a prostitute when the individual:

(a)pays or offers or agrees to pay a prostitute, or an individual the actor believes to be a prostitute, a fee, or the functional equivalent of a fee, for the purpose of engaging in an act of sexual activity; or

(b)enters or remains in a place of prostitution for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

(2)Patronizing a prostitute is a class A misdemeanor, except as provided in Subsection (3)(4), or (5) and Section 76-10-1309.

(3)A violation of this section that is preceded by a conviction under this section or a conviction under local ordinance adopted under Section 76-10-1307 is a class A misdemeanor.

(4)A third violation of this section or a local ordinance adopted under Section 76-10-1307 is a third degree felony.

(5)If the patronizing of a prostitute under Subsection (1)(a) involves a child as the other individual, a violation of Subsection (1)(a) is a third degree felony.

(6)Upon a conviction for a violation of this section, the court shall order the maximum fine amount and may not waive or suspend the fine.

 

Defenses​

The defenses to a charge of Patronizing a Prostitute are typically one of three:

(1) whether the defendant thought the other person was a prostitute;

(2) whether the defendant paid or offered a fee; (3) whether the paid for activity sexual activity.

In a typical case, application of the above defenses might look something like:

First, if the person was a friend, a girlfriend or the parties were engaged in a sex/role playing game, then the defendant did not believe the person to be a prostitute and regardless of other facts, he/she must be found not guilty.  

Second, was a fee or a functional equivalent of a fee offered or paid?  If the sexual activity was "free", or no fee or contemplated fee existed for the sexual activity, then the defendant must be found not guilty even if the payee was a prostitute.

Last, even if the defendant believed the other person to be a prostitute and paid a fee, if the fee was not for sexual activity, such as for companionship only or for a massage, then the defendant must be found not guilty even if the payee was a prostitute and a fee was paid.

Sex Offender Registration

There is no sex offender registration requirement for a conviction of patronizing a prostitute.

 

Jail/Prison time, fines & restitution

 

Patronizing a prostitute is a class A misdemeanor, except as provided in Subsection (3)(4), or (5) and Section 76-10-1309.

(3)A violation of this section that is preceded by a conviction under this section or a conviction under local ordinance adopted under Section 76-10-1307 is a class A misdemeanor.

(4)A third violation of this section or a local ordinance adopted under Section 76-10-1307 is a third degree felony.

(5)If the patronizing of a prostitute under Subsection (1)(a) involves a child as the other individual, a violation of Subsection (1)(a) is a third degree felony.

(6)Upon a conviction for a violation of this section, the court shall order the maximum fine amount and may not waive or suspend the fine.

 

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