Child Sex Trafficking – Child Prostitution – A.R.S. § 13-3212

Arizona has renamed its Child Prostitution statute to be called Child Sex Trafficking, but a violation of Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 13-3212 for Child Sex Trafficking carries immense penalties that last long after any prison sentence is served.

Two Ways to Prove Their Case

There are two ways Child Sex Trafficking can be charged.

In the first way, to prove their case in a Child Sex Trafficking case for a child prostitution allegation in violation of A.R.S. § 13-3212, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly did any of the following:

  • Caused a minor to engage in prostitution
  • Used a minor for purposes of prostitution
  • Permitted a minor under their custody or control to engage in prostitution
  • Received any benefit for or on account of placing a minor in any place or in the charge or custody of any person for the purposes of prostitution
  • Received a benefit under an agreement to participate in the proceeds of prostitution of a minor
  • Financed, managed, supervised, controlled, or owned prostitution activity involving a minor
  • Transported or financed the transportation of any minor with the intent that the minor engage in prostitution
  • Provided a means by which a minor engages in prostitution
  • Enticed, recruited, harbored, provided, transported, made available to another or otherwise obtained a minor with the intent to cause that minor to engage in prostitution or any sexually explicit performance
  • Enticed, recruited, harbored, provided, transported, made available to another or otherwise obtained a minor with the knowledge that the minor will engage in prostitution or any sexually explicit performance

This portion of the Child Sex Trafficking statute is punishable as a dangerous crime against children if the minor is under age 15.  A conviction for Child Sex Trafficking for a violation of this portion of A.R.S. § 13-3212 and carries a prison range of 13 to 27 flat years in prison.  A flat sentence means that you serve each day of the sentence.  Sex offender registration is required for this offense.

If the minor is older than 15, then a first offense for any of the first 8 bullet points requires a mandatory prison sentence of 10 to 24 years.  If a defendant has a historical prior felony conviction that range increases to 13 to 31 years.  If a defendant has two or more historical prior felony convictions that range increases to 24 to 38 years.  These are flat time sentences.

A conviction for the final 2 bullet point is a Class 2 Felony and carries a prison range of 3 to 12.5 years in prison or probation up to lifetime.

The maximum fine for any felony is $150,000 plus surcharges.

Any conviction here requires registration as a sex offender.

The second way for the State to proceed in a Child Sex Trafficking case for a violation of A.R.S. § 13-3212 is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant over the age of 18 knowingly did one of the following things:

  • Engaged in prostitution with a minor under 15 years of age
  • Engaged in prostitution with a minor the person knew or should have known is 15, 16, or 17 years of age
  • Engaged in prostitution with a minor who is 15, 16, or 17 years of age.

If the minor is under 15 years of age then this offense is sentenced under the dangerous crimes against children statute and carries a mandatory prison term of 13 to 27 flat calendar years.

If the defendant is convicted of engaging in prostitution with a minor the person knew or should have known was 15, 16, or 17, then the first offense carries, a prison range of 7 to 21 flat calendar years, which increases to 14 to 28 years with one historical prior felony conviction, and to 21 to 35 with two or more historical prior felony convictions.

Both of these convictions require sex offender registration.

If the defendant is convicted of engaging in prostitution with a minor who is 15, 16, or 17, then the offense is a Class 6 Felony.  It carries a prison term of 4 months to 2 years, up to lifetime probation, and discretionary sex offender registration up to the judge.  If sentenced to probation, the Court must impose a term of no less than 180 days of jail as a condition of probation, of which 90 days may be suspended.

How Do You Defend Child Sex Trafficking Allegations

Knowledge is a requirement for all of these offenses.  In all of these cases, the State is required to prove that you knowingly did something – that is, you knew, or should have known that what you were doing constituted the act alleged.  Attacking the State’s ability to prove your mental state is imperative.

For those allegations involving prostitution allegations, it is important to find out how the State intends to prove prostitution.  Prostitution requires an exchange of something in return for sex; if no such exchange or promise of exchange is made, then there is no prostitution.

A good sex crimes attorney will also ensure that your constitutional rights were protected.  This means making sure that there were no violations of:

  • Right against warrantless searches and seizures
  • Right to counsel
  • Miranda rights

Child Sex Trafficking allegations carry immense penalties that last well beyond the long prison sentences they carry.  Lifetime sex offender registration will ruin you, even if the felony conviction did not.  It is important to obtain counsel immediately if you are charged with Child Sex Trafficking for a violation of A.R.S. § 13-3212.  Gurion Legal offers free consultations on such cases.  Take the first step to building your defense.  Contact us today.

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