Prostitution and related offenses, N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1

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Head of a prostitute
by Vincent van Gogh
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Narrative

On October 11, 2012, Hudson County Sheriffs Officers arrested Thomas Oches, a building superintendent, according to nj.com.

Authorities went to Oches' Westervelt Avenue residence, according to nj.com, with a warrant for an alleged probation violation by a woman whom the news site did not identify by name.

The officers allegedly found the woman, two men, two other women known allegedly as prostitutes, and Oches, according to nj.com.

According to the press, authorities observed the women allegedly knew each other.

But the men did not know one another, according to the site.

Additional observations allegedly included used and unused condoms around the room, according to nj.com.

Two women, according to the news, told law enforcement officials Oches allegedly demanded sexual favors from the prostitutes. The 59-year-old allegedly throws them out and keeps their money if they refuse, reported the site.

One woman said Oches allegedly choked her in May 2011 when she refused his advances, reported nj.com. But she also refused to press charges, according to the site.

The two women said Oches allegedly charged them $10 per customer, $110 per week to use the apartment, forced the women to buy drugs for him, and to share drugs with him, reported nj.com.

According to the news site, authorities charged the Jersey City man with promoting prostitution, compelling another to engage in prostitution, and other offenses.

Or as one might say in the vernacular, similar to the Jersey Journal headline, authorities charged Oches "with pimping 10 women."

Grading

Second Degree Crime

A person commits a Second Degree Crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1 if:
  • The actor knowingly promotes prostitution of a child under 18 whether or not the actor mistakenly believed that the child was 18 years of age or older, even if such mistaken belief was reasonable; or
  • The actor knowingly promotes prostitution of the actor's child, ward, or any other person for whose care the actor is responsible.

Third Degree Crime

A person commits a Third Degree Crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1 if:
  • The actor compels another to engage in or promote prostitution;
  • The actor promotes prostitution of the actor's spouse;
  • The actor's conduct consists of
    • owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise keeping, alone or in association with another, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business;
    • procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or place in a house of prostitution for one who would be an inmate; or
    • encouraging, inducing, or otherwise purposely causing another to become or remain a prostitute.
  • The actor knowingly
    • engages in prostitution with a person under the age of 18;
    • enters into or remains in a house of prostitution for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with a child under the age of 18; or
    • solicits or requests a child under the age of 18 to engage in sexual activity.
  • Note:It shall be no defense to a prosecution under this paragraph that the actor mistakenly believed that the child was 18 years of age or older, even if such mistaken belief was reasonable.

Fourth Degree Crime

A person commits a Fourth Degree Crime under N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1 if:
  • The actor promotes prostitution; or
  • The actor engages in prostitution (second and subsequent offenses).

Disorderly Persons Offense

A person commits a Disorderly Persons Offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1 if:
  • The actor engages in prostitution (first offense only).

Penalties

Second Degree Crime (Felony)
  • State Prison: Between five years and ten years
  • Fines: Up to $150,000.00

Third Degree Crime (Felony)
  • State Prison: Between three years and five years
  • Fines: Up to $15,000.00

Fourth Degree Crime (Felony)
  • State Prison: Up to eighteen months
  • Fines: Up to $10,000.00

Disorderly Persons (Misdemeanor)
  • County Jail: Up to Six Months
  • Fines: Up to $1,000.00

Additional Penalties
  • Victims of Crime Compensation Assessment (VCCA): $50
  • Law Enforcement Officer Training & Equipment Fund: $30
  • Safe Neighborhood Services Fund Assessment: $75
  • Driver's License Suspension: Six months
    Applies when a motor vehicle was used while engaging in prostitution.
  • Court Costs

Definitions

  • "Prostitution" is:
    • sexual activity with another person in exchange for something of economic value, or
    • the offer or acceptance of an offer to engage in sexual activity in exchange for something of economic value.
  • "Sexual activity" includes, but is not limited to,
    • sexual intercourse, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, including
      • genital-genital,
      • oral-genital,
      • anal-genital, and
      • oral-anal contact,
    • masturbation;
    • touching of the genitals, buttocks, or female breasts; or
    • sadistic or masochistic abuse and other deviate sexual relations.
  • "House of prostitution" is any place where prostitution or promotion of prostitution is regularly carried on by one person under the control, management or supervision of another.
  • "Promoting prostitution" is:
    • Owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise keeping, alone or in association with another, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business;
    • Procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or place in a house of prostitution for one who would be an inmate;
    • Encouraging, inducing, or otherwise purposely causing another to become or remain a prostitute;
    • Soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute;
    • Procuring a prostitute for a patron;
    • Transporting a person into or within this State with purpose to promote that person's engaging in prostitution, or procuring or paying for transportation with that purpose; or
    • Knowingly leasing or otherwise permitting a place controlled by the actor, alone or in association with others, to be regularly used for prostitution or promotion of prostitution, or failure to make a reasonable effort to abate such use by ejecting the tenant, notifying law enforcement authorities, or other legally available means.

Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Lawyer Michael Smolensky, Esquire, knows how to protect his clients. Mr. Smolensky can provide consultations on all cases regarding prostitution and related offenses. Call Now—(856) 812-0321.

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