Pennsylvania prostitution law

Pennsylvania laws have been clearly written to prohibit and provide punishment for prostitution and crimes that are related in intent and severity. Not only does Pennsylvania punish offenders, but the laws also provide for public announcement of one’s crimes and sentences through the publishing of notices in the local newspapers for 2nd and subsequent offenders.

Prostitution in Pennsylvania is considered a misdemeanor of various degrees depending on the number of convictions. Defined as engaging in sexual activity as a business or as an inmate of a house of prostitution of loitering in or within view of any public place with the intent of being hired to engage in sexual activity, the first and second offenses are considered third degree misdemeanors. Sentences for this level of offense include up to 1 year imprisonment. Someone who receives a third conviction will face up to 2 years in prison and a second degree misdemeanor charge. The sentences for persons with four or more convictions are sentences up to 5 years in the department of corrections.

Promotion of prostitution is a staple among U.S. laws prohibiting prostitution and related crimes. Pennsylvania also includes promotion among its prohibited offenses. Several crimes are considered promotion. Here are some that are defined by Pennsylvania laws:

  • Solicitation of a person to patronize a prostitute.
  • Procurement of a prostitute for a patron.
  • Transportation of someone into or within the state with the intent to aid him or her in the engagement of acts of prostitution. (Payment for transportation or arrangement for transportation is also included in this offense.)
  • Leasing or permitting a property to be used for a place of prostitution.

Certain prostitution-related offenses are considered third degree felonies in Pennsylvania. Some may be categorized as promotion, while others are in other divisions. Third degree felonies include:

  • Running, maintaining, owning or supervising a house of prostitution or other prostitution enterprise or business.
  • Procuring inmates or prostitutes for a house of prostitution or other enterprise.
  • Encouraging or inducing someone to become or remain a prostitute.
  • Compelling another person to become a prostitute as a result of force, threats or violence.
  • Inducing someone under the age of 16 years old to become a prostitute.
  • Promoting the prostitution of one’s spouse, ward, child or other dependant.
  • Engaging in acts of prostitution or promoting acts of prostitution by someone who is infected with the HIV virus.
  • Receiving funds and support from the proceeds derived from acts of prostitution. (Someone who is a legal dependant of a prostitute is excluded from this law.)

Sentences for third degree felonies include imprisonment for up to 7 years in the department of corrections.


The following Nevada counties have their own laws and regulations on prostitution:

Prostitution laws in US cities:

Prostitution laws in Canada