Prostitution Laws of Pennsylvania



§ 5902: Prostitution and related offenses
(a) Prostitution.--A person is guilty of prostitution; a misdemeanor of the third degree, if he or she:

(1) is an inmate of a house of prostitution or otherwise engages in sexual activity as a business; or

(2) loiters in or within view of any public place for the purpose of being hired to engage in sexual activity.

(a.1) Grading of offenses under subsection (a).--An offense under subsection (a) constitutes a

(1) Misdemeanor of the third degree when the offense is a first or second offense.

(2) Misdemeanor of the second degree when the offense is a third offense.

(3) Misdemeanor of the first degree when the offense is a fourth or subsequent offense.

(4) Felony of the third degree if the person who committed the offense knew that he or she was human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive or manifesting acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

(b) Promoting prostitution.--A person who knowingly promotes prostitution of another commits a misdemeanor or felony as provided in subsection (c) of this section. The following acts shall, without limitation of the foregoing, constitute promoting prostitution:

(1) owning, controlling, managing, supervising or otherwise keeping, alone or in association with others, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business;

(2) procuring an inmate for a house of prostitution or a place in a house of prostitution for one who would be an inmate;

(3) encouraging, inducing, or otherwise intentionally causing another to become or remain a prostitute;

(4) soliciting a person to patronize a prostitute;

(5) procuring a prostitute for a patron;

(6) transporting a person into or within this Commonwealth with intent to promote the engaging in prostitution by that person, or procuring or paying for transportation with that intent;

(7) leasing or otherwise permitting a place controlled by the actor, alone or in association with others, to be regularly used for prostitution or the promotion of prostitution, or failure to make reasonable effort to abate such use by ejecting the tenant, notifying law enforcement authorities, or other legally available means; or

(8) soliciting, receiving, or agreeing to receive any benefit for doing or agreeing to do anything forbidden by this subsection.

(c) Grading of offenses under subsection (b).--

(1) An offense under subsection (b) constitutes a felony of the third degree if:

(i) the offense falls within paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2) or (b)(3);

(ii) the actor compels another to engage in or promote prostitution;

(iii) the actor promotes prostitution of a child under the age of 16 years, whether or not he is aware of the age of the child;

(iv) the actor promotes prostitution of his spouse, child, ward or any person for whose care, protection or support he is responsible; or

(v) the person knowingly promoted prostitution of another who was HIV positive or infected with the AIDS virus.

(2) Otherwise the offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(d) Living off prostitutes.--A person, other than the prostitute or the prostitute's minor child or other legal dependent incapable of self-support, who is knowingly supported in whole or substantial part by the proceeds of prostitution is promoting prostitution in violation of subsection (b) of this section.

(e) Patronizing prostitutes.--A person commits the offense of patronizing prostitutes if that person hires a prostitute or any other person to engage in sexual activity with him or her or if that person enters or remains in a house of prostitution for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity.

(e.1) Grading of offenses under subsection (e).--An offense under subsection (e) constitutes a:

(1) Misdemeanor of the third degree when the offense is a first or second offense.

(2) Misdemeanor of the second degree when the offense is a third offense.

(3) Misdemeanor of the first degree when the offense is a fourth or subsequent offense.

(4) Felony of the third degree if the person who committed the offense knew that he or she was human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive or manifesting acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

(e.2) Publication of sentencing order.--A court imposing a sentence for a second or subsequent offense committed under paragraph (e) shall publish the sentencing order in a newspaper of general circulation in the judicial district in which the court sits, and the court costs imposed on the person sentenced shall include the cost of publishing the sentencing order.

(f) Definitions.--As used in this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"House of prostitution." Any place where prostitution or promotion of prostitution is regularly carried on by one person under the control, management or supervision of another.

"Inmate." A person who engages in prostitution in or through the agency of a house of prostitution.

"Public place." Any place to which the public or any substantial group thereof has access.

"Sexual activity." Includes homosexual and other deviate sexual relations.