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Kansas Prostitution and Solicitation Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of legal writers and editors.

In Kansas, it’s illegal to engage in prostitution, whether one buys sex, sells sex, offers to sell sex, agrees to perform any sex act for hire, or visits a prostitute at his or her place of prostitution. Kansas prostitution laws are broken down into three offense categories:

  • Prostitution
  • Patronizing
  • Promoting prostitution

It’s in these divided terms that the laws are best understood. As a general rule, Kansas laws against prostitution are targeted at those who sell sex, while the laws against patronizing are targeted at those who buy sex. Kansas laws against the promotion of prostitution, on the other hand, are targeted at third parties who benefit financially from another’s prostitution.

The Statutory Law

Prostitution

Code Sections Kansas Statutes Annotated (K.S.A.) section 21-6419.
What’s Prohibited? One may not perform any sex act for hire, or offer or agree to perform any sex act for hire where there’s an exchange of value. Sex acts are broadly defined to include oral sex, genital contact with intent to arouse, and vaginal and anal intercourse.
Penalties Prostitution is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. (K.S.A. section 21-4502, K.S.A. section 21-4503)
Defenses If a person charged with prostitution is a victim of human trafficking or aggravated human trafficking, or is under the age of 18, then that can be used as an affirmative defense to the prostitution charge.

Patronizing

Code Sections K.S.A. section 21-6421.
What’s Prohibited? The patronizing statute makes it illegal for people to buy sex (to hire a person to engage in a sex act) or enter a place where sexual relations are being sold with the intent to engage in a sex act with a prostitute. Under this law, therefore, a person can be found guilty of patronizing for knowingly meeting with a prostitute, even if money has not yet been exchanged and no agreement has been made.
Penalties Patronizing is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Depending on the circumstances, however, the penalties can be quite harsh. A repeat offense by someone who has previously been convicted of patronizing is a severity level 9 felony, however, which is punishable by imprisonment for 11 to 13 months and a probation period of at least 12 months. The court may also order any person convicted of patronizing to enter into a treatment program regarding commercial sexual exploitation. Persons convicted of patronizing a minor are required to register as sex offenders. Any person convicted of a felony prostitution offense (patronizing or promoting prostitution) is also ineligible for a Kansas teaching license.
Defenses Nonsexual escort services are legal, so if you have been charged with patronizing a prostitute, your defense may rest on an argument that you did not hire the alleged prostitute to engage in sex acts, but rather for companionship.

Promoting Prostitution

Code Sections K.S.A. section 21-6420.
What’s Prohibited? This statute is quite broad and inclusive, making it illegal to promote the sale of sexual relations. The statute defines such “promotion” as when a defendant knowingly: 1) establishes, owns, maintains, or manages a brothel, 2) permits property they own to be used as a brothel; 3) recruits or otherwise procures a prostitute to work in a brothel; 4) encourages another person to become a prostitute; 5) solicits a patron for a prostitute or to enter a brothel; 6) recruits or otherwise procures a prostitute for a patron; or 7) enables transportation of a prostitute with the intention of helping the prostitute engage in acts of prostitution.
Penalties Promoting prostitution is a severity level 9 felony punishable by imprisonment for 11 to 13 months. For repeat offenders who have been convicted of a violation of this section previously, promoting prostitution is a level 7 felony punishable by imprisonment for 22 to 26 months. They may also be fined up to $100,000. If the prostitute is a minor, the penalties increase. Property used to commit the offense can be seized.
Defenses In order to be convicted of promoting prostitution, the defendant must be aware that prostitution is actually occurring. Defendant’s lack of knowledge may therefore act as a defense to this offense.

Getting Legal Help

If you have been charged with a prostitution-related offense in Kansas, you should speak with a Kansas criminal defense attorney immediately.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

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