What is the Legality of Prostitution in Wyoming, United States?
Prostitution is illegal in Wyoming, United States. It is considered a criminal act under the Wyoming State Statutes. There are various statutes that criminalize different aspects of prostitution, such as soliciting, engaging in the act, and pimping or promoting prostitution. Wyoming is one of the 49 states in the U.S. where prostitution is illegal, with the exception being certain counties in Nevada.
What are the Penalties and Enforcement for Prostitution in Wyoming?
The penalties and enforcement for prostitution in Wyoming depend on the specific statute that is violated. Here is a summary of some of the statutes and their respective penalties:
- Engaging in prostitution (W.S. 6-4-101): This is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $750, or both.
- Soliciting prostitution (W.S. 6-4-102): This is also a misdemeanor offense, punishable by imprisonment for not more than six months, a fine of not more than $750, or both.
- Pimping or promoting prostitution (W.S. 6-4-103): This is a felony offense, punishable by imprisonment for not more than five years, a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
- Forced prostitution (W.S. 6-4-104): This is a felony offense, punishable by imprisonment for not more than twenty years, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
Law enforcement agencies in Wyoming actively enforce these statutes and work to combat prostitution and related activities.
How is Prostitution Referred to Locally in Wyoming, United States?
Prostitution in Wyoming, as in other parts of the United States, is often referred to as the world’s oldest profession or the sex trade. Locally, people might use slang terms like hooker, escort, or streetwalker to describe those who engage in prostitution. However, it is important to use respectful and non-stigmatizing language when discussing this issue, as many individuals involved in prostitution are victims of trafficking or other forms of exploitation.
What is the History of Prostitution in Wyoming, United States?
Prostitution has a long history in Wyoming, dating back to the days of the Old West when it was a frontier territory. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, brothels and red-light districts were common in towns like Laramie, Cheyenne, and Rock Springs. These establishments catered to railroad workers, miners, and cowboys, who were often far from home and looking for entertainment and companionship.
Over time, attitudes towards prostitution changed, and many of these establishments were shut down. In the 20th century, Wyoming enacted various laws criminalizing prostitution, following a nationwide trend of increased regulation and criminalization of the sex trade. Today, the state continues to enforce these laws and work to combat human trafficking and other forms of exploitation.
What are the Government Laws and Resources Regarding Prostitution in Wyoming?
The Wyoming State Legislature has enacted several laws criminalizing prostitution and related activities, as discussed earlier in this article. These laws are enforced by local and state law enforcement agencies. In addition to criminal penalties, individuals involved in prostitution may also face social and economic consequences, such as difficulty finding employment or housing due to their criminal records.
There are also several resources available to individuals who are involved in prostitution or are victims of human trafficking in Wyoming. These include:
- The National Human Trafficking Hotline: This hotline, operated by the nonprofit organization Polaris, offers support, resources, and referrals to victims of human trafficking. The hotline can be reached at 1-888-373-7888 or by texting HELP to 233733.
- Wyoming Division of Victim Services: This state agency provides assistance and resources to crime victims, including victims of human trafficking and prostitution. Their website can be found here.
- Local organizations and shelters: There are several local organizations and shelters in Wyoming that offer support and assistance to individuals involved in prostitution or who are victims of human trafficking. These organizations can provide counseling, case management, and other services to help individuals exit the sex trade and rebuild their lives.