The experienced NY criminal defense attorneys at Crotty Saland PC can tell you that it is not merely the “John” and the escort or prostitute that may be liable for prostitution or a prostitution related crime. In fact, if you allow your premises to be used for escorts who provide “GFE” services and prostitution, you may be guilty of Permitting Prostitution, pursuant to NY Penal Law 230.40, even if you were never directly involved in the offense.
A person is guilty of Permitting Prostitution when that person, having possession or control of a premises which he or she knows is being used for prostitution purposes, fails to make reasonable efforts to halt or abate such use.
Although the elements of the crime seem fairly clear, the following bullets are decisions by courts over the years that help shed light on how the courts interpret this crime:
(1) A homeowner allowed an unknown woman into his home with an unidentified man. Without asking any questions of the pair, the defendant allowed them into his home. Two weeks later the defendant allowed another couple unknown to him to enter and stay in his home. Court found sufficient evidence establishing that the defendant failed to act to prevent prostitution and related activity. People v. Taliaferrow, 121 Misc.2d 307, 467 (N.Y.City Crim.Ct. 1983)
(2) Where a defendant aided and abetted prostitution on his bar premises “the complaint [was] not invalidated because it did not state that the defendant failed to make reasonable efforts to halt or abate prostitution. That neglect is fairly implied from the claim that he facilitated prostitution on his premises.” People v. Gilmore, 120 Misc.2d 741 (N.Y.City Ct. 1983)
(3) Absent proof that the defendant, a desk clerk at a hotel, was aware that the premises where he worked was to be used for prostitution, the crime of Permitting Prostitution is not established because the clerk knowingly rented a room to a man and a woman that he knew were not married. People v. Harris, 74 Misc.2d 707 (N.Y.Sup. 1973)
(4) “Where both supposed prostitute and customer were undercover police officers, there could be no actual agreement, offer, solicitation, or other understanding between two to engage in sexual conduct for a fee, and, thus, there was no prostitution nor use of hotel premises for prostitution purposes.” People v. Behncke, 141 Misc.2d 630 (N.Y.City Crim.Ct.1988)