Mississippi Crime of the Week – Prostitution

Generally speaking, the definition of prostitution is giving or receiving your body for sexual activity for hire.  The world’s oldest profession has been illegal in the state of Mississippi since 1942.  The statute, unaltered since it was passed, reads as follows:

It shall be unlawful to engage in prostitution or to aid or abet prostitution or to procure or solicit for the purposes of prostitution, or to reside in, enter, or remain in any place, structure, or building, or to enter or remain in any vehicle or conveyance for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution, or to keep or set up a house of ill-fame, brothel or bawdy house, or to receive any person for purposes of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution into any vehicle, conveyance, place, structure or building, or to permit any person to remain for the purpose of lewdness, assignation, or prostitution in any vehicle, conveyance, place, structure, or building, or to direct, take, or transport, or to offer or agree to take or transport, or aid or assist in transporting, any person to any vehicle, conveyance, place, structure, or building, or to any other person with knowledge or reasonable cause to know that the purpose of such directing, taking or transporting is prostitution, lewdness or assignation, or to lease or rent or contract to lease or rent any vehicle, conveyance, place, structure, or building, or part thereof, knowing or with good reason to know that it is intended to be used for any of the purposes herein prohibited, or to aid, abet, or participate in the doing of any of the acts herein prohibited.

Miss. Code Ann. § 97-29-49.  In summary, in Mississippi, it is against the law to engage in prostitution, to solicit the services of a prostitute, or to maintain a house for the purposes of prostitution.

 

Is it against the law to be a “pimp” in Mississippi?

Yes.  Mississippi also has a law that prohibits “procuring” prostitutes.  This is also known as “pandering.”  The law basically outlaws being a “pimp.”  This law makes it illegal to:

procure a female inmate for a house of prostitution, or to cause, induce, persuade, or encourage by promise, threat, violence, or by scheme or device, a female to become a prostitute or to remain an inmate of a house of prostitution, or to induce, persuade, or encourage a female to come into or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution, or to become an inmate in a house of prostitution, or to receive or give, or agree to receive or give any money or thing of value for procuring, or attempting to procure any female to become a prostitute or an inmate in a house of prostitution, or to knowingly accept, receive, levy or appropriate any money or other thing of value without consideration from a prostitute or from the proceeds of any woman engaged in prostitution.

Miss. Code Ann § 97-29-51.

 

What are the penalties for prostitution in Mississippi?

Whether you engage in, solicit, or sponsor prostitution in Mississippi, it is considered a misdemeanor crime, punishable by a fine of up to $200.00 and imprisonment in the county jail of up to six months.