Indiana Prostitution and Solicitation Laws

Indiana has three main criminal laws that cover prostitution related activities from all sides: the seller, the buyer, and the promoter. These three aspects of prostitution and solicitation are covered by one law each on prostitution, patronizing a prostitute, and pimping, or promoting prostitution.

Additionally, human trafficking for prostitution purposes is illegal, both for the promoter or seller of the sex slave and for the person who knowingly agrees to pay money for a person who’s been forced into prostitution. Non-consensual sexual activity with anyone, including a prostitute, is prohibited under Indiana sex crime laws.

Penalties and Sentences

Usually, prostitution related charges are misdemeanors. However, with prior convictions, prostitution charges can be upgraded to felonies. Pimping or promoting prostitution charges are all felonies. Penalties vary by the age of the persons being prostituted and whether they're trafficking victims.

Being a trafficking victim is a defense to a prostitution charge. Indiana law prohibits alleged victims of sexual trafficking to be jailed, fined, or penalized for their prostitution crimes, or be held in a facility that's inappropriate for crime victims.

Indiana Prostitution and Solicitation Laws: Statutes

Details of Indiana's prostitution related laws are outlined below.

Code Sections

Indiana Code Section 35-45 Chapter 4: Indecent Acts and Prostitution

IC Section 35-42-3.5.1 - Human and Sexual Trafficking

What is Prohibited?

In Indiana, the following three crimes are illegal:

  • Prostitution - Knowingly performing or offering sex or other sexual contact, including fondling another's genitals, in exchange for money or other property
  • Patronizing a Prostitute - Knowingly paying or offering to pay money or other property to a person for having sex or other sexual contact with that person or another person or fondling or agreeing to fondle the genitals of that person or another person
  • Human Trafficking - Patronizing a sex trafficking victim, knowingly paying or agreeing to pay money or other property to a person, knowing that the person has been forced into prostitution
  • Promoting Prostitution - A person who does any of these:
    • Knowingly compels another to become a prostitute
    • Knowingly procures a prostitute for another person
    • Knowingly controls a place used for prostitution
    • Receives money or property from a prostitute knowing it was earned from prostitution, without a lawful right to the money
    • Knowingly directs another to a place for prostitution
  • Promotion of Human Trafficking - Knowingly recruiting, harboring or transporting another to force the person into prostitution (or labor)
  • Promotion of Human Trafficking of a Minor - Knowingly recruiting, harboring, or transporting another for forced prostitution (or labor) of a child under 16
  • Promotion of Sexual Trafficking of a Minor - Selling or transferring custody of a child under 16 for forced prostitution

Penalty Levels

Penalties vary depending on the victim’s age, the defendant's age, the conduct, and prior convictions:

  • Level 2 felony - Promoting sex trafficking of a child under 16 by a person 18 or older
  • Level 3 felony - Promoting human trafficking of a child under 16
  • Level 4 felony - Promoting human trafficking, promoting prostitution by compelling a person under 18 to become a prostitute
  • Level 5 felony - Promoting prostitution, knowingly patronizing a sex trafficking victim
  • Level 6 felony - Prostitution or patronizing a prostitute with two prior convictions for the same offense
  • Class A misdemeanor - Prostitution or patronizing a prostitute

Note: On July 1, 2014 Indiana criminal law changed from classifying felonies as Classes A-D to Levels 1-6 as described above. Some individuals, literature, or websites may still refer to the old system.

Penalties

Punishments for felonies and misdemeanors in Indiana vary by level or class. The penalty ranges for the crimes listed above by offense level are:

  • Level 2 Felony - 10-30 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Level 3 Felony - 3-16 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Level 4 Felony - 2-12 years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Level 5 Felony - 1-6 years incarceration and a fine up to $10,000
  • Level 6 Felony - 6 months to 2.5 years incarceration and a fine up to $10,000
  • Class A Misdemeanor - up to 1 year incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Class B Misdemeanor - up to 180 days incarceration and a fine of up to a $1,000

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- it's important to verify the state law(s) you’re researching.

Get a Free Case Review 

No matter what crime you have been charged with, you have the right to defend those charges in court. Prostitution charges often involve other complications, such as the influence of a pimp or human trafficking, which may affect your case. Have a criminal defense attorney give you a free initial case review and help guide you in the right direction.

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