Any New York criminal defense attorney can tell you that a charge or offense related to escort services evolves from the crime of Prostitution. Prostitution, New York Penal Law §230.00, is a crime that is punishable as a "B" misdemeanor by up to 90 days in jail. Whether you are involved in a high end escort service agency, you are an independent service provider or you work as a street level prostitute, the criminal charge is the same. That is, you are guilty of Prostitution in New York when you engage or agree or offer to engage in sexual conduct with another person in return for a fee.
What constitutes "sexual conduct" for the purpose of Prostitution? You put on an erotic show for a paying customer. Maybe that customer paid you to let him touch your breasts. In the alternative, you were paid for a lap dance, but ultimately you allowed your client to expose himself and rub against you. Do these activities constitute "sexual conduct" and, therefore, Prostitution?
Although Article 230, the article that deals with Prostitution in the New York Penal Law, does not define "sexual conduct" for the purposes of this statute, "sexual conduct" is defined in other articles. As applied to offenses relating to Prostitution, courts seem to agree that "oral sexual conduct, "anal sexual conduct," "masturbation" and "sexual intercourse" fall within this definition. Therefore, while the first two hypothetical scenarios appear not to involve sexual conduct, the last one appears to fall into the category. While the analysis of these scenarios is fact specific, each case is different and requires the analysis of a skilled criminal defense attorney. In fact, a lap dance for a fee, while usually not falling within the realm of prostitution, may be prosecuted as a crime of Prostitution if there is excessive contact of the genitals even if clothed.
Due to the countless fact specific details of a case, you owe it to yourself to retain an experienced New York criminal defense attorney to represent you if you find yourself charged with Prostitution. As a former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office for seven years, Jeremy Saland has the experience, knowledge and skill to fight for your rights and integrity while getting you where you need, and want, to be.