The New York Criminal Law Blog

Prostitution and Solicitation in New York

The world’s oldest profession is still a crime, not just for the prostitutes themselves, but also their pimps and madams. Nevada is the only state where prostitution is legal, but the practice continues to thrive in New York despite its illegality, where it is punishable as a Class B misdemeanor for both the sex worker and the customer. Soliciting a minor under the age of 17 is a Class A misdemeanor, a Class E felony if a minor under the age of 14 and a Class D if under the age of 11. Pimping or pandering is charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the age of the individual whose services were offered (for example, “promoting prostitution” of a person under the age of 11 is charged as a Class B felony).

Prosecutors often will offer plea deals or even immunity to sex workers who help law enforcement with the investigation of prostitution rings. If you have been charged with this type of offense, New York criminal defense attorneys are best equipped to handle the finer points of a prostitution or solicitation charge.

Recently in Prostitution / Solicitation Category

Men Are Pigs: Gas Shortage Leads to Offers to 'Fill Your Tank'

The storms came with a fury. Buildings were leveled, looters raided flooded pharmacies, and Breezy Point burned down. Gas shortages resulted in miles-long lines of people desperate to power their generators to survive the cold of an inbound Nor'easter.

Through storms and sunshine, one constant that we can depend on is that men will take advantage of any situation. Enter craigslist. Buzzfeed shares the ads of 13 people attempting to exchange gas for sexual favors. One man offers to generously "fill your tank." Others mention that they own the gas station. 

Another High End Prostitution Ring Busted, We Learn New Vocab

One of the most fascinating aspects of criminal law is learning the language of underground criminal enterprises. Most criminals are smart enough to not explicitly state what their illegal activity involves. Today, in addition to learning about a high-end prostitution ring that operated throughout Manhattan and serviced "white-collar" johns, we also got a bit of a vocabulary lesson.

Why are these acronyms important? In order to prove that one "promoted" prostitution, the details on the ring's websites have to be decoded. Here are a couple of the more relevant terms used in online advertisements, courtesy of Det. William McLaughlin of the NYPD and DNAinfo:

Rule's 2 Da game of Hoez!!!: Long Island Prostitution Ring Busted

Every man has to live by a certain set of principles. For 50 Cent, his rules were outlined in the pre-fame track “I’m a Hustler.” For the Notorious B.I.G., his “Ten Crack Commandments” guided both drug dealers through the business of retail sales of illicit drugs and many children through junior high school.

For Steven Mcdaniel and his accomplice, Sandra Russell, the “Rule’s 2 Da Game of Hoez!!!” was their mantra, reports the Port Jefferson Patch. These ten rules, prescribed by Mr. Mcdaniel while in a jail cell, and passed along to his disciple, Ms. Russell, outline the ten most basic things one should know when supervising a stable of strumpets.

Soccer Mom Madam Gets Break From Appeals Court; Lower Bail

The "Soccer Mom Madam," Anna Gristina, may be back on the streets soon, at least while her case is pending. Back in March, she was arrested and indicted for running a high-end prostitution ring that dated back 15 years. The arrest was the culmination of a five-year investigation.

Because she possessed a British passport, as well as property in Canada, the prosecutor, and the judge, felt that she was a flight risk. Prosecutors say that they have a recording of her promising to flee the country if she ever runs into criminal trouble, reports the New York Daily News.

Hot Dogs and Happy Endings: Vendor Arrested for Prostitution

At least it wasn't an ice cream truck. That would be weird.

Catherine Scalia, presumably of no relation to the esteemed Supreme Court justice, has been arrested again for selling sex-acts with her sausages, reports the New York Post. Scalia has apparently been an unlicensed hot dog vendor (and prostitute) for years, as she was arrested for the exact same crime eight years ago.

Livery Cab Sex Trafficking; RICO a Possibility?

Their story could serve as a plot line for HBO's The Wire if they ever bring the show back for a sixth season. After an extensive investigation that began with routine prostitution arrests and utilized wire taps and follow-the-money techniques, the District Attorney's office, New York Police Department, and the Homeland Security took down an intricate criminal enterprise over the weekend, reports NBC New York.

The authorities have charged six cab drivers with promoting prostitution and arrested a father-son duo, Vincent George Sr. and Jr., for being the leaders of a sex trafficking ring that brought women into the country, forced them into prostitution, and tattooed them with their pimps' names. The cab drivers transported the prostitutes and negotiated rates with the customers.

John Caccavale Arrested After Trying To Outrun Cops

New York police officials chased after Staten Island local John Caccavale, 48, after he tried to outrun them in his city-owned vehicle, reported the New York Daily News. Law enforcement officers caught Caccavale, a water and sewer operations manager for the Department of Environmental Protection, sitting in his Toyota Prius and allegedly "beckoning" several prostitutes in Manhattan's Greenwich Village.

Cops said Caccavale had been lingering around the area where a group of transvestite prostitutes, known as "The Bus Stop Boys," often waited for customers. These prostitutes often gathered at bus stops to avoid any potential loitering charges. Caccavale immediately sped away from the scene once police started approaching his car, but the police were just as quick in capturing him at West and Rector Streets.

Suzanne Porcelli Pleads Guilty for Aiding in Prostitution Ring

Suzanne Porcelli pleaded guilty in Manhattan Federal Court after being accused of helping the mob sell young girls into prostitution. According to the New York Daily News, the Gambino Madam was brought to court earlier this year with fourteen other members of the Gambino crime gang, including Daniel Marino, her current boss. Porcelli was sentenced with up to two years in jail.

Sources claim forty-year-old Suzanne Porcelli became a madam after her husband was murdered. As part of the mob, Porcelli said she was responsible for answering telephone calls and making appointments for customers. The Gambino Madam admitted she "knowingly aided" and organized transportation for individuals to take part in prostitution, which she "knew was unlawful." 

Update: Lawrence Taylor Charges Filed

This just in: The press conference is over and former NFL MVP Lawrence Taylor has been charged with raping a teenage Bronx girl.

We covered the story yesterday in our blog, but now, new details are emerging.

Taylor's New York criminal defense attorney appeared at his arraignment, making the argument that Taylor posed no flight risk.

Razzle Dazzle: NYPD Cop 'Fake' Marries Brothel Madam

Count on New York to give us sensational crime stories such as this one.

It makes you feel like all New York criminal defense attorneys are Billy Flynn. "Just give'em the old, razzle-dazzle." (For those of you who don't know the reference, it's to the Broadway musical, Chicago).

An NYPD auxiliary officer was accused earlier last week of being the hired goon for a Brooklyn brothel. Levy Sharon has been accused of ferrying prostitutes to casinos and even making death threats against an alleged snitch.