pandering | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Criminal Law

In criminal law, pandering refers to the act of soliciting, procuring, or arranging for another person to engage in prostitution or other sexual activities in exchange for money or other consideration.

Pandering is a term often heard in the realm of criminal law. It describes the act of enticing or persuading another person to perform sexual acts for money or other benefits. This practice is considered illegal in many jurisdictions due to the exploitative nature of the act.

The Act of Pandering

Pandering is not just about prostitution. It involves a range of activities that facilitate or promote commercial sex acts. These activities include soliciting or arranging customers for a prostitute, forcing someone into prostitution, or even promoting prostitution by owning, controlling, or managing a brothel.

An example would be a person, often referred to as a ‘pimp,’ who finds and arranges customers for a prostitute. This person, by managing and profiting from the prostitute’s actions, is committing the act of pandering.

Prostitution vs. Pandering

While both prostitution and pandering are associated with the sex trade, they are distinct offenses. Prostitution involves the provision of sexual services in exchange for money or goods, and it is the prostitute who directly engages in the act. On the other hand, pandering centers on third-party involvement. It primarily targets those who facilitate, encourage, or profit from the sex trade without directly participating in the sexual act itself.

Legal Consequences of Pandering

Pandering is a crime, and it carries severe penalties. These penalties vary from place to place but generally include imprisonment, fines, and possibly probation. Additionally, those convicted of pandering may face societal consequences, such as job loss or difficulty finding employment in the future.

The Morality and Ethics of Pandering

Pandering, above all, is considered immoral and unethical because it exploits vulnerable individuals for profit. Those involved in pandering often prey on people who are in desperate circumstances, using manipulation or coercion to compel them into the sex trade. This inherently harmful practice is what makes pandering a serious offense in the eyes of the law.

Protecting Victims of Pandering

Criminal justice systems focus not only on punishing perpetrators but also on protecting victims. This is true in cases of pandering. Law enforcement officers and social workers strive to provide victims with the help they need to escape their circumstances and rebuild their lives. This help may involve providing shelter, counseling, legal assistance, and job training.

The Fight Against Pandering

Efforts to combat pandering are ongoing. Law enforcement agencies are continually working to identify and prosecute those involved in this illegal practice. Additionally, non-profit organizations and advocacy groups contribute to this fight by raising awareness, supporting victims, and pushing for stronger legislation against pandering and related activities.

All in all, pandering is a grave offense that has significant social, moral, and legal implications. By understanding what it involves, the differences between pandering and prostitution, and the penalties associated with it, we can better comprehend its impact on individuals and society as a whole. As we continue the fight against pandering, it’s essential to remember that these efforts aim to protect the rights and dignity of all individuals.

The Model Penal Code

The Model Penal Code (MPC), crafted by the American Law Institute, provides a standard to guide states in shaping their own criminal laws. While the MPC does not have the force of law itself, its recommendations are influential and often adopted by states.

Under the MPC, pandering is treated as promoting prostitution, a serious offense. The Code goes into detail about what constitutes promoting prostitution, and it broadly encompasses many behaviors associated with pandering.

For example, a person is guilty of promoting prostitution if they own, control, manage, supervise, or otherwise maintain a prostitution business or a brothel. Other actions that fall under this umbrella include encouraging, forcing, or arranging for someone else to become or remain a prostitute.

The MPC doesn’t stop there. It also covers scenarios where a person procures a prostitute for a customer or takes or agrees to take a share of the earnings of a prostitute. Therefore, someone who acts as a ‘middle-man’ between a prostitute and a client, or profits from the earnings of a prostitute, could be charged with promoting prostitution under the MPC.

The Model Penal Code’s approach to pandering, or promoting prostitution, highlights the wide range of behaviors that contribute to this illegal industry. By casting a broad net, the MPC helps states draft laws that can more effectively combat all aspects of the sex trade, protecting those who are exploited and bringing those responsible to justice.

Whether a person is directly participating in prostitution or enabling it from the sidelines, they are part of a cycle of exploitation that the Model Penal Code seeks to break. By understanding and enforcing these laws, we can move towards a society where such exploitation is a thing of the past.

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Last Modified: 07/12/2023

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