Prostitution remains illegal in North Dakota and Minnesota. Most residents, likely, realize prostitutes and their customers may face arrest for their actions. Not everyone thinks about the “third-parties” involved in the sex trade. Persons who facilitate prostitution also commit crimes and may face serious charges when arrested. Specifically, such persons would face charges under pimping and pandering laws.

Pimping and pandering are terms often mentioned interchangeably, leading to assumptions they reflect the same activities. Such is not the case. Pimping and pandering reflect distinct actions although both contribute to promoting prostitution.

Pandering involves specifically intending to facilitate prostitution and procuring a person for prostitution. An individual who coerces someone to become a prostitute becomes engaged in pandering.

Pimping involves receiving monetary gain or other benefits from someone’s involvement with prostitution. An individual who runs an escort service and receives a commission from prostitutes may be guilty of pimping. The compensation need not be monetary, either. Someone receiving drugs, for example, could face charges of pimping.

There are other instances in which people find themselves drawn into the dragnet of prostitution-related charges. A business owner who knows employees at a fitness club who engage in prostitution could potentially face charges.

However, a person might face arrest even when not knowing that prostitution took place at the establishment. The owner of a gym, for example, may not realize employees set up escort “dates” through the business. Legitimately not knowing about the activity could serve as the basis for a defense. The burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt lies with the prosecution.

Penalties for pimping and pandering may be severe, and seeking qualified legal counsel may prove advisable. An attorney could review the sex crimes charges and discover police improprieties. A lawyer may also negotiate a plea bargain deal, depending on the case.