Experienced Legal Counsel Practicing Throughout Minnesota

from offices in Brainerd, Buffalo, Hutchinson And Minnetonka

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Criminal Defense
  4.  » Pandering: A Sex Crime That Leads to Heavy Penalties in MN

Pandering: A Sex Crime That Leads to Heavy Penalties in MN

by | Sep 14, 2021 | Criminal Defense, Firm News, Sex Crimes

There are many crimes you can be charged for, but pandering is one that is frowned upon in society. While it’s not prostitution, it’s part of the process and seen negatively.

In Minnesota, pandering is a sex crime. It means hiring or agreeing to hire someone for the purpose of prostitution. This crime can be a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor. Penalties increase further if the prostitute was younger than 18 years old. 

There is good news, though. A Minnesota sex crimes defense attorney can help you get the best outcome and lowest sentencing possible. The best thing to do if you’re accused of this crime is to protect your rights and reputation. Your attorney can help you build a strong case for your defense.

What Is Pandering in Minnesota?

Pandering is the act of procuring a person for prostitution. To be convicted of pandering, actual prostitution does not have to take place and the procurement doesn’t have to take place. The attempt to find someone to become a prostitute or to entice someone into the sex trade is enough to result in a conviction.

Pandering is also when a person encourages, facilitates or promotes prostitution. For instance, if you run a spa and know that certain members of the staff provide sexual services, you could be convicted of pandering.

It’s important to note that pandering targets prostitution intermediaries. Prostitutes can’t receive pandering charges in Minnesota, and neither can a person who solicits a prostitute’s services.

If law enforcement charges you with pandering in Minnesota, a conviction could mean community service. Worse, you may have to pay thousands of dollars in fines and spend up to 25 years in prison. This is why hiring the best sex crimes defense attorney is so critical.

What Kinds of Penalties Do You Face for Pandering in MN?

Depending on where it takes place and which state or states are involved, the penalties vary. For example, you might face time in prison for several years just for encouraging prostitution.

Pandering convictions in Minnesota incur fines, community service, and/or prison time. The exact sentence varies depending on whether the crime occurred in a public place and the age of the person procured. 

First Degree Penalties

In general, Minnesota charges pandering as a first degree sex crime if the person was under 18 years old. 

If the person was 18 years or older, the procurer must pay at least $500 in fines or perform court-ordered community service. A second offense committed within two years of the original crime is a gross misdemeanor. Violators can earn up to a $1500 fine and/or 20 hours of community service.

The penalties for pandering increase if the hiring or attempt to hire takes place in a public location. If the prostitute is 18 years or older, the minimum fine is $1500. Panderers also have to complete community service hours for committing the crime in a public place. 

If the public place is a park or a school zone, a court can add 3 years to the maximum prison sentence.

Second Degree Penalties

Second degree sex charges apply to pandering offenses committed against adults aged 18 years or older.

Pandering crimes committed against minors incur even heftier penalties, whether the crime takes place in a public place or not. If the prostitute is between 16 and 18 years of age, the panderer can get up to five years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, or both. Pandering minors aged 13 to 16 years old can incur up to 10 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine. 

Hiring or attempting to hire a minor under the age of 13 can get you slapped with 20 years in prison, up to a $40,000 fine, or both. You’ll also have to register as a sex offender in the state of Minnesota. Registering as a sex offender means you can only live in certain places, and your sex offender status will be publicly available to whoever wants to see it.

The penalty for pandering can increase to a maximum of 25 years in prison and/or up-to a $60,000 fine if:

  • It’s the second first degree sex charge within 10 years
  • The person hired suffered physical harm during the crime
  • The person hired was kept in debt bondage or forced labor conditions for more than 180 days

If you find yourself charged with one of these pandering offenses, there is good news. A Minnesota sex crime criminal defense attorney can reduce or even eliminate your charges.

Can You Defend Yourself Against Pandering Charges?

Yes. To charge you with pandering, a Minnesota court usually must prove that you directly received compensation for the prostitute’s services. However, it’s not pandering if your received compensation for a prostitute’s services but didn’t know that income was earned through prostitution.

For example, in the situation where the spa has sex workers, if the owner did not know that employees were taking it upon themselves to prostitute themselves, the owner would not be guilty of pandering. Not knowing that it is happening or being unaware that money is being made because of prostitution is a defense. To receive a pandering charge, the owner must have specifically hired the sex workers with the intent that they offer sex for money.

A court may use the fact that you accepted money from a prostitute as evidence of pandering. Minors and adults over the age of 55 are exempt from pandering charges in cases like these. Minnesota allows this defense to protect the children and elderly relatives of prostitutes who may rely on the prostitute’s income. 

You may also use several other defenses, like insanity, entrapment or involuntary intoxication, depending on your situation. Your attorney can help you decide the best option for your situation.

Which Pandering Defenses Can Minnesota Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys Not Use?

Before you hire an attorney, it’s important to know which defenses don’t work in pandering cases. 

It’s not a defense that the person hired or attempted to be hired didn’t end up engaging in the act of prostitution. This is so that courts can enforce charges against panderers who hire undercover police officers, and the officer doesn’t actually engage in the act of prostitution.

Even if these situations do apply to you, experienced Minnesota criminal defense lawyers know the tricks to lessen your charges.

Need a Sex Crime Criminal Defense Attorney in Minnesota?

Pandering is a sex crimes and a major criminal offense in Minnesota. If you’ve been charged with pandering, you need an experienced defense lawyer to argue your case. Call Carlson & Jones today for a free consultation with the best criminal defense attorney in Minnesota.

Originally published on February 19th, 2018 and updated on September 14, 2021