The elements of promoting prostitution are as follows: A person commits the crime of promoting prostitution if, with intent to promote prostitution, the person knowingly:
The elements of compelling prostitution are as follows: (1) A person commits the crime of compelling prostitution if the person knowingly:
Now, don’t get me wrong. These are serious offenses and often very bad criminal acts; particularly cases involving compelling prostitution. I’m not condoning such behavior. I’m not suggesting that when the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that said individuals committed such crimes, they should not be prosecuted.
However, I don’t understand why someone convicted of one of these offenses should be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his or her life. I just don’t see a causal connection.
Pimps are assholes. Pimps are terrible people. Pimps take advantage of the most vulnerable members of society – often underage girls who are fleeing terrible domestic circumstances.
But are pimps sex offenders?
And the thing is, if part of our plan is to rehabilitate criminals, good luck when it involves an individual required to register for life as a sex offender. They can almost never secure legitimate employment. They can almost never secure legitimate housing. The registration requirement pretty much puts a stop to any attempt to lead productive, legitimate lives.
Assume that there is at least one person out there convicted of compelling or promoting prostitution who has made a transformation; who has made amends for their past life; who has changed; and who wants to do the right thing and volunteer, work hard, pay taxes, serve the community, raise a family. It will be next to impossible for said person to do so.
I realize that to most, this isn’t a pressing issue. And I realize it’s not a very popular issue. The “pimping lobby” isn’t going to appear at the legislature anytime soon to advocate for an end to sex offender registration.
And I get registration laws as applied to predatory sex offenders. But I don’t get it when it comes to pimps.
I just don’t.