Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–2705. Pandering; inducing or compelling an individual to engage in prostitution.

(a) It is unlawful for any person, within the District of Columbia to:

(1) Place or cause, induce, entice, procure, or compel the placing of any individual in the charge or custody of any other person, or in a house of prostitution, with intent that such individual shall engage in prostitution;

(2) Cause, compel, induce, entice, or procure or attempt to cause, compel, induce, entice, or procure any individual:

(A) To reside with any other person for the purpose of prostitution;

(B) To reside or continue to reside in a house of prostitution; or

(C) To engage in prostitution; or

(3) Take or detain an individual against the individual’s will, with intent to compel such individual by force, threats, menace, or duress to marry the abductor or to marry any other person.

(b) It is unlawful for any parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of the person of an individual, to consent to the individual’s being taken, detained, or used by any person, for the purpose of prostitution or a sexual act or sexual contact.

(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(2) A person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section when the individual so placed, caused, compelled, induced, enticed, procured, taken, detained, or used or attempted to be so placed, caused, compelled, induced, enticed, procured, taken, detained, or used is under the age of 18 years shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 20 years or by a fine of not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.


(June 25, 1910, 36 Stat. 833, ch. 404; Jan. 3, 1941, 54 Stat. 1225, ch. 936, § 1; May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 12(a), 41 DCR 1639; May 17, 1996, D.C. Law 11-119, § 3, 43 DCR 528; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 214(a), 53 DCR 8610; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 229(a), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-2705.

1973 Ed., § 22-2705.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 14-311, § 22-1831, § 22-2701.01, § 22-2731, § 23-113, and § 42-3101.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-306 rewrote the section, which had previously read as follows: “Any person who, within the District of Columbia shall place or cause, induce, procure, or compel the placing of any individual in the charge or custody of any other person, or in a house of prostitution, with intent that such individual shall engage in prostitution, or who shall compel, induce, entice, or procure or attempt to compel, induce, entice, or procure any individual to reside with any other person for immoral purposes or for the purpose of prostitution, or who shall compel, induce, entice, or procure or attempt to compel, induce, entice, or procure any such individual to reside or continue to reside in a house of prostitution, or compel, induce, entice, or procure or attempt to compel, induce, entice, or procure such individual to engage in prostitution, or who takes or detains an individual against the individual’s will, with intent to compel such individual by force, threats, menace, or duress to marry the abductor or to marry any other person; or any parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of the person of an individual, who consents to the individual’s taking or detention by any person, for the purpose of prostitution or sexual intercourse, shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years and by a fine of not more than $1,000.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $5,000” in (c)(1), and for “not more than $20,000” in (c)(2).

Cross References

Armed offenses, additional penalty for committing a crime when armed, see §§ 22-4501 and 22-4502.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 3(c) of the Safe Streets Anti-Prostitution Emergency Amendment Act of 1996 (D.C. Act 11-252, April 15, 1996, 43 DCR 2139).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 214(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 214(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 214(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 214(a) of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 229(a) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.