Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–2706. Compelling an individual to live life of prostitution against his or her will.

(a) It is unlawful for any person, within the District of Columbia, by threats or duress, to detain any individual against such individual’s will, for the purpose of prostitution or a sexual act or sexual contact, or to compel any individual against such individual’s will, to reside with him or her or with any other person for the purposes of prostitution or a sexual act or sexual contact.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, a person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 15 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) of the section when the individual so detained or compelled 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, § 2; Jan. 3, 1941, 54 Stat. 1225, ch. 936, § 2; May 21, 1994, D.C. Law 10-119, § 12(b), 41 DCR 1639; Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 214(b), 53 DCR 8610; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 229(b), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 22-2706.

1973 Ed., § 22-2706.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 14-311 and § 23-113.

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, by threats or duress, detains any individual against such individual’s will, for the purpose of prostitution or sexual intercourse, or any person who shall compel any individual against such individual’s will, to reside with him or her or with any other person for the purposes 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 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 $15,000” in (b)(1), and for “not more than $20,000” in (b)(2).

Cross References

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

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 214(b) 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(b) 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(b) 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(b) 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(b) 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.