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Prostitution Laws of West Virginia



§61-8-5: Houses of ill fame and assignation; penalties; jurisdiction of courts
§61-8-6: Detention of person in place of prostitution; penalty
§61-8-7: Procuring for house of prostitution; penalty; venue; competency as witness; marriage no defense
§61-8-8: Receiving support from prostitution; pimping; penalty; prostitute may testify

§61-8-5: Houses of ill fame and assignation; penalties; jurisdiction of courts
(a) Any person who shall keep, set up, maintain, or operate any house, place, building, hotel, tourist camp, other structure, or part thereof, or vehicle, trailer, or other conveyance for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation; or who shall own any place, house, hotel, tourist camp, other structure, or part thereof, or trailer or other conveyance knowing the same to be used for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation, or who shall let, sublet, or rent any such place, premises, or conveyance to another with knowledge or good reason to know of the intention of the lessee or rentee to use such place, premises, or conveyance for prostitution, lewdness, or assignation; or who shall offer, or offer to secure, another for the purpose of prostitution, or for any other lewd or indecent act; or who shall receive or offer or agree to receive any person into any house, place, building, hotel, tourist camp, or other structure, or vehicle, trailer, or other conveyance for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation, or to permit any person to remain there for such purpose; or who for another or others shall direct, take, or transport, or offer or agree to take or transport, or aid or assist in transporting, any person to any house, place, building, hotel, tourist camp, other structure, vehicle, trailer, or other conveyance, or to any other person with knowledge or having reasonable cause to believe that the purpose of such directing, taking, or transporting is prostitution, lewdness, or assignation; or who shall aid, abet, or participate in the doing of any acts herein prohibited, shall, upon conviction for the first offense under this section, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not less than six months nor more than one year, and by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars and not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars, and upon conviction for any subsequent offense under this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a period of not less than one year nor more than five years.

(b) Any person who shall engage in prostitution, lewdness, or assignation, or who shall solicit, induce, entice, or procure another to commit an act of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation; or who shall reside in, enter, or remain in any house, place, building, hotel, tourist camp, or other structure, or enter or remain in any vehicle, trailer, or other conveyance for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation; or who shall aid, abet, or participate in the doing of any of the acts herein prohibited, shall, upon conviction for the first offense under this section, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not less than sixty days nor more than six months, and by a fine of not less than fifty dollars and not to exceed one hundred dollars; and upon conviction for the second offense under this section, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not less than six months nor more than one year, and by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars and not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars, and upon conviction for any subsequent offense under this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than one year nor more than three years.

The subsequent offense provision shall apply only to the pimp, panderer, solicitor, operator or any person benefiting financially or otherwise from the earnings of a prostitute.

(c) All leases and agreements, oral or written, for letting, subletting, or renting any house, place, building, hotel, tourist camp, or other structure which is used for the purpose of prostitution, lewdness, or assignation, shall be void from and after the date of any person who is a party to such an agreement shall be convicted of an offense hereunder. The term "tourist camp" shall include any temporary or permanent buildings, tents, cabins, or structures, or trailers, or other vehicles which are maintained, offered, or used for dwelling or sleeping quarters for pay.

(d) In the trial of any person, charged with a violation of any of the provisions of this section, testimony concerning the reputation or character of any house, place, building, hotel, tourist camp, or other structure, and of the person or persons who reside in or frequent same, and of the defendant or defendants, shall be admissible in evidence in support of the charge. Justices of the peace shall have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit, intermediate, and criminal courts to try and determine the misdemeanors set forth and described in this section.

§61-8-6: Detention of person in place of prostitution; penalty
Whoever shall by any means keep, hold, detain or restrain any person in a house of prostitution or other place where prostitution is practiced or allowed; or whoever shall, directly or indirectly, keep, hold, detain or restrain, or attempt to keep, hold, detain or restrain, in any house of prostitution or other place where prostitution is practiced or allowed, any person by any means, for the purpose of compelling such person, directly or indirectly, to pay, liquidate or cancel any debt, dues or obligations incurred or said to have been incurred by such person shall, upon conviction for the first offense under this section, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not less than six months nor more than one year, and by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, and upon conviction for any subsequent offense under this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than three years: Provided, That in any offense under this section where the person so kept, held, detained or restrained is a minor, any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than two years nor more than five years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

§61-8-7: Procuring for house of prostitution; penalty; venue; competency as witness; marriage no defense
Any person who shall procure an inmate for a house of prostitution, or who, by promises, threats, violence, or by any device or scheme, shall cause, induce, persuade or encourage a person to become an inmate of a house of prostitution, or shall procure a place as inmate in a house of prostitution for a person; or any person who shall, by promises, threats, violence, or by any device or scheme cause, induce, persuade or encourage an inmate of a house of prostitution to remain therein as such inmate; or any person who shall, by fraud or artifice, or by duress of person or goods, or by abuse of any position of confidence or authority, procure any person to become an inmate of a house of ill fame, or to enter any place in which prostitution is encouraged or allowed within this state, or to come into or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution, or who shall procure any person to become an inmate of a house of ill fame within this state or to come into or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution; or shall receive or give or agree to receive or give any money or thing of value for procuring or attempting to procure any person to become an inmate of a house of ill fame within this state, or to come into or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution, shall be guilty of pandering, and, upon a first conviction for an offense under this section, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not less than six months nor more than one year, and by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, and upon conviction for any subsequent offense under this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a period of not less than one nor more than five years: Provided, That where the inmate referred to in this section is a minor, any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than two years nor more than five years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

It shall not be a defense to prosecution for any of the acts prohibited in this section that any part of such act or acts shall have been committed outside of this state, and the offense shall in such case be deemed and alleged to have been committed and the offender tried and punished in any county in which the prostitution was intended to be practiced, or in which the offense was consummated, or any overt act in furtherance of the offense was committed.

Any such person shall be a competent witness in any prosecution under this section to testify for or against the accused as to any transaction, or as to conversation with the accused, or by the accused with another person or persons in his or her presence, notwithstanding his or her having married the accused before or after the violation of any of the provisions of this section, whether called as a witness during the existence of the marriage or after its dissolution. The act or state of marriage shall not be a defense to any violation of this section.

§61-8-8: Receiving support from prostitution; pimping; penalty; prostitute may testify
Any person who, knowing another person to be a prostitute, shall live or derive support or maintenance, in whole or in part, from the earnings or proceeds of the prostitution of such prostitute, or from money loaned or advanced to or charged against such prostitution by any keeper or manager or inmate of a house or other place where prostitution is practiced or allowed, or shall tout or receive compensation for touting for such prostitution, shall be guilty of pimping, and, upon the first conviction for such offense, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not less than six months nor more than one year, and by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars; and, upon a conviction for any subsequent offense hereunder, shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a period of not less than one nor more than three years: Provided, That where the prostitute referred to in this section is a minor, any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than two years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both. A prostitute shall be a competent witness in any prosecution hereunder to testify for or against the accused as to any transaction or conversation with the accused, or by the accused with another person or persons in the presence of the prostitute, even if the prostitute may have married the accused before or after the violation of any of the provisions of this section, whether called as a witness during the existence of the marriage or after its dissolution.


(Source: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/masterfrm3Banner.cfm)