What is pandering?
Pandering is also known as human trafficking. Human trafficking is using coercion, force or fraud to persuade people to engage in acts against their will. This is usually done for money.
There are three types of human trafficking: debt bondage, forced labor and sex trafficking. Debt bondage is requiring a person to work for another individual or group so that the person’s debt can be satisfied. The person who is forced into debt bondage rarely has any control in the matter and may not even be financially compensated for their efforts.
Forced labor happens when a person is made to work or provide services for someone else. This may be accomplished through violence or threats of violence, persuasion, or force. Forced labor is also referred to as unfree labor or modern slavery.
Sex trafficking is moving people illegally across a city, county, state, or country for the purposes of engaging in sexual activities. These acts are usually paid for by customers whom the trafficker has contacted or advertised those services too. Sex trafficking is a type of sexual exploitation and may be viewed as sexual slavery in many cases.
Is pandering illegal?
The state of Maryland doesn’t officially use the term pandering. However, human trafficking is illegal. It is considered a misdemeanor if the victim was an adult. The crime will be viewed as a felony if the victim was a minor at the time.
A person may be charged with human trafficking if they cause someone to be taken or directly transport a person to a place for the purposes of prostitution. People cannot encourage, persuade, entice or induce others to be placed or taken to a building where acts of prostitution take place or threaten another person with restraints or physical harm so that they agree to engage in sexual acts. It’s illegal to take, hide or remove another person’s passport, government ID or immigration document with the purpose of coercing someone to engage in acts of prostitution or take money or any other items that have monetary value in exchange for providing an individual for assignation or prostitution.
What are the penalties for pandering, (aka) Human Trafficking?
If the victim was an adult, the person who was found guilty of human trafficking could be ordered to pay a fine of no more than $5,000 and/or serve up to 10 years in jail for the misdemeanor offense. If the victim was a minor at the time, the maximum penalties are a fine of up to $15,000 and/or as much as 25 years of prison time for the felony offense.
Receiving money from someone who engaged in acts of prostitution is also a misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by a fine of as much as $10,000 and/or a maximum of 10 years in jail. Additional penalties may be added for other crimes that were committed at the same time.
Offenders may also be required to register as a sex offender if the victim was a minor when the crime was committed. They must register within 3 days of being released from jail for that crime. If the person wasn’t sentenced to prison, they should still register as soon as possible. The judge presiding over the case will determine where the offender should report to register. This is usually the local law enforcement officials in the county where that person resides.
People who register as a sex offenders for this type of crime will be expected to re-register every 6 months for 15 years. All of the information that they supply will be listed online. Anyone who wants to can view that information for as long as that specific person remains on the sex offender registry.
What can I do if I’ve been accused of pandering?
You have the right to refute any claims that were made against you if you’ve been accused of human trafficking. Legal counsel can be hired, or you can represent yourself in court. It is highly recommended that you hire a lawyer. You will be known as the defendant and state will prosecute you.
There are several defense strategies that can be utilized in those instances. You may be able to question whether money exchanged hands for sexual acts. If this cannot be proven, you may have a better chance of being found not guilty.
Not knowing about the particular activity in question is another defense tactic. The prosecution may try to prove that you knew why the parties met, received money, or had reason to believe that acts of prostitution were going to happen at the time. Touching a person in a sexually suggestive manner or observing exchanges of money or other items of value can be examples of knowledge. If intent can’t be proven and there is no evidence that any goods or money was exchanged, the accused individual may be acquitted of the crime.
Sexual conduct must also be proven. There are many ways in which this can be done. Video or photographic evidence may be presented. Medical records that can confirm sexual penetration may also be brought forth. If no sexual contact can be verified, it’s possible that there may not have been any illegal activity, to begin with.
If you’ve been accused of being involved in or receiving money from a sex crime, give us a call today. You can arrange a free consultation that works around your busy schedule. Our trained professionals will listen to your side of the story and provide recommendations for possible future actions that can be taken. We can even represent you in court if you choose.
Our main goal is to help you get back on track again. This won’t be easy. There is a negative stigma associated with sex crimes, even if you are completely innocent or were acquitted of all charges. It will take time to regain trust and credibility with your friends, neighbors, relatives and coworkers. If you’re willing to put forth the time and effort, the results should be very worthwhile in the end. In fact, you’ll probably be back to loving life once more before you fully realize what’s happened.