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Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102 Human Trafficking – Prostitution

1. Definition and Elements of the Crime

Prostitution is defined as the performance of a sexual act, sexual contact or vaginal intercourse for hire (Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 11-302). Human Trafficking, as it relates to Prostitution, encompasses a wide variety of conduct and is prosecuted pursuant Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102. Human Trafficking involves the movement of people for the purpose of prostitution and/or receiving money for that transportation. While some crimes involving Prostitution may carry maximum penalties of just one (1) year, Human Trafficking – Prostitution, under Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102 is a much more serious offense.

In order to convict a defendant of Human Trafficking - Prostitution, the State must prove:

  1. That the defendant knowingly took a person to, caused a person to be taken to, placed a person in, or caused a person to be placed in a location; and
  2. That the person was taken to or placed in that location for prostitution.

A defendant will also be convicted of Human Trafficking – Prostitution if the State can prove;

  1. That the defendant knowingly persuaded a person, induced a person, enticed a person, or encouraged a person to be taken to or placed in any location; and
  2. That the person was persuaded, induced, enticed, or encouraged to go to that place for prostitution.

The essence of the crime is the taking someone or inducing someone to engage in prostitution. It is not the prostitution itself. There are also offenses for a variety of other activities relating to prostitution including establishing or setting up a place for prostitution and receiving money earned from prostitution. These are all separate offenses.

2. Examples

Several recent emigres to the US are living in an apartment. All work at a massage parlor in the downtown area. The defendant knows that sexual acts are performed for money by the employees of the massage parlor. The defendant has the job to pick up the recent emigres and drive them to the massage parlor each morning. 

The defendant can be charged under Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102.

3. Related Offenses

There are several sub-sections of the Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102, defining other activity as illegal.

Conduct causing another to believe that if he/she did not take part in a sexually explicit performance a third party would be injured - Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102 (a)(v)

Destroying or confiscating immigration documents or government ID while violating other sections - Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102 (a)(vi)

A parent or guardian consenting to the taking of another for prostitution - Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102 (a)(2)

Other related sections:

Definitions of prostitution - Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 11-301

Conducting a House of Prostitution - Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 11-303

Receiving Earnings from Prostitution - Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 11-304

Soliciting or Procuring Prostitution - Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 11-306

4. Defenses

Most defenses to a Human Trafficking charge relate to the specific facts of the case. It is often difficult for the State to prove that a defendant knew that the transportation was for the purpose of prostitution. The defense focuses on whether the State can prove the intent to engage in prostitution, and what exactly the particular defendant knew. Unless there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowing transported the person for the purpose of prostitution, there can be no conviction under Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102.

5. Penalties

A conviction under Maryland Code, Criminal Law, Section 3-1102 – Human Trafficking carries a maximum penalty of 10 years incarceration and a $5000 fine or both. However, if the defendant committed the offence and the victim is a minor, the penalty is 25 years and a $15,000 fine, or both. It is important to note that not knowing the age of the victim is not a defense to the greater penalty. Also, if the defendant used force or threat to accomplish the Human Trafficking, the defendant is subject to the greater penalty. 

6. Criminal Defense for the charge of Human Trafficking - Postitution

If you have been accused of Human Trafficking, or any offense related to prostitution, it is important that you speak with an experienced Maryland attorney at once. Many cases involve unique factual circumstances that an attorney can research and evaluate for you. Additionally, even after charges are filed, an attorney may be able to intervene on your behalf to defuse and explain facts and possible effect a resolution outside the court room. Attorney David Felsen has over 32 years of experience in Maryland courts and has established key relationships with prosecutors and law enforcement. Mr. Felsen is recognized as Maryland Super Lawyer, has an AV (Highest) rating, and listed as one of Bethesda Magazine’s Top Lawyer.

For more information about Malicious Destruction of Property, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney David Felsen, at Felsen & Sargent, 600 Jefferson Plaza, Suite 201, Rockville, Maryland 20852, or call 301-251-4010.

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