Prostitution, Pimping, and Pandering Laws in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, it is against the law to buy or sell sex, or promote or make money from prostitution.

For more information on prostitution laws generally, see Prostitution.

In Oklahoma, a person commits the crime of prostitution by:

  • giving or receiving any sexual contact in exchange for money or anything else of value
  • making an appointment to engage in prostitution
  • soliciting or enticing another to commit prostitution, or
  • entering into (or remaining in) any place or vehicle to commit prostitution.

Sexual contact includes oral, anal, and vaginal sex, masturbation, and other “lustful” conduct.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § § 1029, 1030, 1031.)

Child Prostitution

Oklahoma also has laws against child prostitution.

For more information, see Child Prostitution in Oklahoma.

Prostitution in a School Zone

Prostitution is punished more severely if committed within 1,000 feet of a school or church.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1031.)

HIV Infection

In Oklahoma, prostitution is punished more severely if committed by people who know they are infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1031.)

For more information, see Transmitting an STD in Oklahoma.

Pimping and Pandering

Laws against pimping (making money from prostitution) and pandering (facilitating prostitution) are aimed at third parties who benefit from or promote prostitution. Generally, in order to be convicted of pimping or pandering, the defendant must know that prostitution is occurring.

For more information on these crimes, see Pimping and Pandering.

In Oklahoma, a person commits the crime of pandering by:

  • procuring another for prostitution
  • bringing anyone into or out of the state for the purpose of prostitution
  • persuading or encouraging another to become (or remain) a prostitute, or
  • earning or paying money to procure a person for prostitution.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1081.)

For example, people who bring women into Oklahoma to work as prostitutes are guilty of pandering.

Related crimes

It is also a crime in Oklahoma to:

  • maintain or operate a house or place of prostitution
  • allow property you own to be leased or used for prostitution, solicitation, or pandering
  • find or offer to find a person to commit prostitution
  • allow any person to come into a place or vehicle to commit prostitution
  • transport any person for the purpose of prostitution, or
  • accept money earned by a prostitute.

Some of these crimes are punished more severely if committed within 1,000 feet of a school or church.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § § 1025, 1027, 1028, 1031, 1086.)

For example, a doorman who allows a person to come into a building knowing that he or she will commit prostitution there is guilty of a crime.

Racketeering

People who engage in pandering can also be charged with racketeering (organized crime) under the Oklahoma Corrupt Organizations Prevention Act.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 22, § 1402.)

For more information on racketeering prosecutions, see State RICO Laws.

Keeping a Person in Prostitution

It is also a crime in Oklahoma to keep or restrain a woman in prostitution against her will to work off a debt.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1085.)

Punishment

Prostitution is punishable by 30 days to one year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500; and 40 to 80 hours of community service. Subsequent convictions are punishable by higher fines or by both imprisonment and a fine.

Prostitution near a church or school is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, community service, and a fine of up to $2,500. Larger fines may be imposed for subsequent convictions.

Prostitution when infected with HIV is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Pandering is punishable by two to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $1,000 to $3,000, with higher fines imposed for subsequent convictions.

Allowing pandering is punishable by six months to one year in jail and a fine of up to $300. Second and subsequent convictions are punishable by one to ten years’ imprisonment. Keeping a house of prostitution is punishable by a fine of up to $500. Other related crimes are punishable by 30 days to one year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500, and community service. Second convictions are punishable by higher fines and subsequent convictions are punishable by both jail time and fines.

Keeping a person in prostitution is punishable by two to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $300 to $1,000.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § § 1025, 1027, 1031, 1081, 1085, 1086.)

Forfeiture

Any vehicle used by or money or other property earned by a pimp or panderer or prostitute may be forfeited (taken by police without compensation to the owner). Forfeiture does not apply to “johns.”

(Okla. Stat. tit. 21, § 1738.)

For general information on forfeiture, see Forfeiting Property in a Federal Criminal Case.

Other consequences

In Oklahoma, the state board can deny or revoke the nursing licenses of people convicted of felonies, and people who have been convicted of crimes of “moral turpitude” within the past ten years are not eligible to work as teachers or school administrators.

(Okla. Stat. tit. 59, § 567.8, tit. 70, § 3-104.1.)

Generally, prostitution and related crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude.

Getting Legal Advice and Counsel

If you are charged with any crime related to prostitution, you should contact a criminal defense attorney in Oklahoma. A conviction can result in time in jail or prison, a fine, community service, or even forfeiture or job loss. With an attorney’s help, you can hopefully obtain the best possible outcome in your case, such as a reduction or dismissal of the charges, a not guilty verdict, or a lighter sentence than the maximum allowed by law.

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