What is the legality of prostitution in Denver?

What is the Legal Status of Prostitution in Denver?

Prostitution is illegal in Denver, Colorado, as well as throughout the entire state. The laws surrounding prostitution in Denver are primarily governed by the Colorado Revised Statutes. Both the selling and buying of sexual services are criminal offenses, and individuals involved in prostitution, including sex workers, clients, and those facilitating the transaction, can face legal penalties.

What Laws and Penalties Govern Prostitution in Denver?

There are several laws that govern prostitution in Denver and throughout Colorado. These laws target various aspects of prostitution, such as engaging in the act, soliciting, and pimping. Some of the key laws and their penalties include:

  • Engaging in Prostitution (C.R.S. 18-7-201): This offense involves performing or offering to perform sexual acts in exchange for money or something of value. Engaging in prostitution is a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $750.
  • Soliciting for Prostitution (C.R.S. 18-7-202): This offense occurs when a person solicits another for the purpose of prostitution or arranges a meeting for the purpose of prostitution. Soliciting for prostitution is a Class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $750.
  • Pimping (C.R.S. 18-7-206): This offense involves knowingly living on or being supported by the earnings of a prostitute. Pimping is a Class 3 felony, punishable by four to twelve years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000.
  • Pandering (C.R.S. 18-7-203): This offense occurs when a person knowingly arranges a situation in which a person may practice prostitution. Pandering is a Class 5 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

How is Prostitution Referred to Locally in Denver?

Locally, prostitution in Denver is sometimes referred to as the world’s oldest profession or streetwalking. However, these terms are not exclusive to Denver and are used in many places to describe prostitution. Some local organizations and initiatives, such as the Denver Anti-Trafficking Alliance (DATA), refer to prostitution as commercial sex exploitation or sex trafficking when it involves coercion or minors.

What is the History of Prostitution in Denver?

Prostitution has a long history in Denver, dating back to the city’s early days as a mining town in the mid-19th century. At that time, brothels and street prostitution were common, as the city’s population was predominantly male. As the city grew and laws were enacted to crack down on prostitution, it became more discreet and hidden from public view.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Denver saw a resurgence of visible street prostitution, particularly along Colfax Avenue. This led to increased law enforcement efforts and the formation of community organizations to combat the issue. Over time, prostitution has become less visible on the streets, partly due to the rise of the internet and online advertising.

Today, prostitution remains illegal in Denver, and law enforcement agencies continue to target the issue through undercover operations, stings, and collaborations with local organizations and community members.

Where Can I Find Helpful Links, Government Laws, and Resources Regarding Prostitution in Denver?

There are several resources available for those seeking more information about prostitution in Denver, including government websites, local organizations, and support services. Some helpful links include:

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