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Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook
Reproduced with permission from
Allen V. Adair and the Franklin County Public Defender Office

PROSTITUTION (093)

R.C. 2907.21 -- Compelling prostitution.

R.C. 2907.22 -- Promoting prostitution.

R.C. 2907.23 -- Procuring.

R.C. 2907.24 -- Soliciting; after positive HIV test.

R.C. 2907.25 -- Prostitution; after positive HIV test.

R.C. 2907.26 -- Rules of evidence in prostitution cases.

R.C. 2907.27 -- Examination and treatment for venereal disease and HIV.

State v. Bartrum, 121 Ohio St. 3d 148, 2009-Ohio-355 – Syllabus: "Under former R.C. 2907.21(A)(3) (now R.C. 2907.21(A)(3)(a), a defendant may not be convicted of compelling prostitution without the existence of an actual minor whom the defendant paid or agreed to pay." The statute has since been amended adding subsection (3)(b) ending "whether or not the person is a minor."

Cleveland v. Mathis (1999), 136 Ohio App. 3d 41 -- Cleveland loitering for purposes of engaging in prostitution ordinance held unconstitutionally vague and overbroad for the same reasons a loitering for drug activity ordinance was held unconstitutional in Akron v. Rowland (1993), 67 Ohio St. 3d 374.

State v. Swann (2001), 142 Ohio App. 3d 88 -- "Officer Prude testified that the sexual issue arose in the following manner: '[I asked her] well, do you want to trade off crack-or instead of money for the sex act, which was oral sex, and she said no, I'll take the money. I said okay, and I said how much is it going to cost me, and we kind of went back and for the on that, and I said $10, and she said no, I'll take $15.' At that point, a prearranged signal brought Prude's partner from his hiding place in the trunk, and he arrested Swann." Soliciting conviction reversed. Merely agreeing to another's suggestion of sex for money is not what is proscribed by R.C. 2907.24.

State v. Ullman, Warren App. No. CA2002-10-110, 2003-Ohio-4003 -- Recklessness is the culpable mental state for prostitution. Dancers engaged in sexual activity in the back room of a strip club. Undercover narcs paid. Court finds this amounted to sexual activity for hire and affirms prostitution conviction.

State v. Matthews (1984), 14 Ohio App. 3d 440 -- Evidence of other prostitution offenses was not admissible as similar acts evidence as: (1) Motive behind prostitution is obvious and not in issue. (2) prostitution is not a specific intent crime, thus intent is irrelevant. (3) Scheme, plan or system must be inextricably linked to offense charged and not chronologically and factually separate, or identity must be at issue.

State v. Parrish (1984), 12 Ohio St. 3d 123 -- (1) Prostitution is not a strict liability offense. Also see Columbus v. White (December 23, 1981), Franklin Co. App. No. 81AP-668, unreported (1981 Opinions 4259) (recklessness applies). (2) Arresting officer is not an "accomplice" in a prostitution prosecution for purposes of former requirement that accomplice's testimony be corroborated. [Question whether same would follow as to instruction concerning accomplice testimony now required by R.C. 2923.03(D).]

State v. Katz (1976), 51 Ohio App. 2d 14 -- Bar owner guilty of complicity where he charged prostitutes ten dollars per week for the privilege of picking up patrons at his bar.

South Euclid v. Richardson (1990), 49 Ohio App. 3d 147 -- Ordinance's definition of brothel held unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. Seemed to reach conjugal activity of married couples in their own home.

Cleveland v. Grey (1982), 3 Ohio Misc. 2d 17 -- Soliciting is not protected by the First Amendment.

State v. Pressley (1992), 81 Ohio App. 3d 721 -- Straightforward solicitation of another person of the same sex found not to be protected by the First Amendment, applying the fighting words doctrine. See dissent. Prosecution was for importuning and not a prostitution related offense.

Cleveland v. Huff (1984), 14 Ohio App. 3d 207 -- Equal protection violation found where ordinances allowed identical conduct to be punished as soliciting or prostitution, but provided a greater penalty for soliciting.

State v. Gilham (1988), 48 Ohio App. 3d 203 -- Headnote: "R.C. 2923.24 (possession of criminal tools) is unconstitutionally applied when the state disproportionately enhances the penalty for R.C. 2907.24 and/or 2907.25 (solicitation and/or prostitution) by indicting the defendant for possession of a criminal tool (the automobile driven by her when she solicited for prostitution)."

State v. Howard (1983), 7 Ohio Misc. 2d 45 -- Headnote: "Where a criminal defendant did not entice, urge, lure or ask for money in exchange for sexual performance, he cannot be found to be guilty of soliciting under R.C. 2907.24(A)." Policeman asked defendant if he was dating. Defendant asked officer if he had money and said $15 was enough for oral sex. Construed as the defendant agreeing to what the officer suggested and not solicitation. Defendant wanted to argue entrapment.

State v. Anderson (1979), 62 Ohio Misc. 1 -- Headnote: "An offense of soliciting under R.C. 2907.24 necessarily constitutes an attempt to commit an offense of prostitution under R.C. 2907.25, and therefore there can be no such offense as attempted soliciting under the general attempt statute, R.C. 2923.02."

Hamilton v. Callon (1997), 119 Ohio App. 3d 759 -- Car was ordered forfeited on prosecutor's oral motion after defendant pleaded guilty to misdemeanor soliciting. (1) Procedural requirements of the statute must be strictly adhered to. (2) Forfeiture under R.C. 2933.43 requires a felony conviction.

Clinton v. Leis (1977), 56 Ohio App. 2d 30 -- Prostitute's money was seized during drug raid at house where she was present. Held that she was not entitled to return of money she acknowledged earning from her trade, though she was never charged with either prostitution or a drug offense.

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