What is the difference between escorting and prostitution? The Dayton criminal defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC discuss everything you need to know in this article. 

In short, prostitution is offering to pay for sex with anything of value. Escorting, on the other hand, refers to paying someone to accompany you to an event or on a date. Escorting does not include sex and is legal.

However, in practice, many prostitutes will disguise themselves as escorts to avoid getting in trouble. Police are aware of this common disguise. If an escort service involves an express or implied agreement to exchange something for sex, the service is illegal prostitution.

According to the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 115 arrests for prostitution crimes in Dayton in 2014. This is quite a few arrests, but prostitution is certainly not among the most common crimes in Dayton. 

What is Prostitution in Ohio?

There are many prostitution-related crimes in Ohio. The main prostitution crime is “Soliciting Prostitution,” a violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.24. This statute makes it illegal for any person to “knowingly solicit another to engage in sexual activity in exchange for the person receiving anything of value from the other person.” 

Solicitation is typically how the state prosecutes the “John,” i.e. the client in a prostitution arrest. Police often stake out areas where prostitutes are known to operate and bust everyone involved. Law enforcement may also run a sting operation, in which an officer poses as a prostitute or escort to catch wrongdoers.

The other common prostitution-related charge is “Solicitation to Patronize a Prostitute,” a violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2907.23, also called “Procuring.” This statute prohibits “knowingly enticing or soliciting another to patronize a prostitute.” Procuring is how the state generally charges the prostitute in a prostitution bust. 

What is Escorting in Ohio?

The formal definition of escorting does not involve sex; it only involves paying someone to escort you to an event or on a date, which is not illegal. However, many prostitutes call themselves escorts. Calling themselves an escort does not make illegal activity legal.

Additionally, even an implied agreement or understanding that sex will take place “after” the escort service is complete can be considered prostitution. For instance, if a client pays $3,000 to an escort for a dinner date, they might have an implied agreement for sex. Most dates don’t cost $3,000.

What are the Penalties for Prostitution in Ohio?

The main prostitution charges described above, “Soliciting Prostitution” and “Procuring,” are both punishable as misdemeanors. Soliciting is normally a Third Degree Misdemeanor. This carries a penalty of up to 60 days jail and a $500 fine. 

Procuring is usually a First Degree Misdemeanor. A First Degree Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days jail and a $1,000 fine.

However, the penalties for both Soliciting and Procuring can increase greatly depending on certain factors, including the age of the prostitute and HIV status. These charges can quickly become serious felonies based on the facts of the case. There are other prostitution and human-trafficking-related crimes with severe criminal penalties as well.

We hope this article helped you understand the difference between escorting and prostitution. If you have been accused of a prostitution-related crime, either as a client or as an escort, contact a Dayton criminal defense lawyer. Your attorney will have the resources to build a strong defense and assert all of your constitutional rights. Your future is too important to risk going it alone.