While there differences between the crimes of prostitution and human trafficking, both require having a strong Atlanta criminal defense attorney on your side.
Prostitution is rampant in Georgia and throughout the United States. When it involves two consenting adults, the fact that it is a business transaction and money is exchanged between them makes prostitution illegal. Human trafficking is a more serious category of sex crime, as it forces and coerces women and children to engage in these activities against their will. The recent case involving New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft highlights the issue and the differences between these two criminal charges.
When Robert Kraft was charged earlier in the year for soliciting prostitution at a Florida massage parlor, it made major headlines across the country. Coming on the heels of the most recent New England Patriots Superbowl win, reporters vied to obtain every salacious detail of the scandal.
Unfortunately, it was quickly revealed that the case involved more than just a rich and famous man paying for sex. According to a March 2019 report by CBS News, the parlor Kraft and other famous men frequently visited was actually part of a statewide human trafficking ring. The women at the massage parlor were alleged to not be active participants in what was taking place, but rather victims who were coerced into being sex workers.
As the story unfolded, it was discovered that the parlor was part of a statewide criminal operation, just one in an elaborate network of places throughout Florida. The women involved were mostly foreign and lured from their home countries with offers of legitimate work. Once here, their passports are often taken and they are charged exorbitant food and living costs, making it next to impossible for them to ever gain their freedom. Whether Kraft knew the depths of the situation is debatable, but for now his only charges involve prostitution.
Unfortunately, human trafficking rings are active in other parts of the country, as well, including the state of Georgia. The Attorney General’s Office reports that these rings involve both sex workers and other types of forced labor. To help stem the tide, massive stings are frequently planned, similar to the one that captured Kraft visiting the establishment in Florida.
To send a clear message to offenders, the AG joined forces with state representatives several years ago to toughen up state laws concerning human trafficking. While prostitution is still often charged as a misdemeanor, human trafficking is a felony with penalties that include fines of up to $100,000 and up to a 25-year prison sentence.
Any type of sex related crime in Georgia is a serious matter. At Ghanayem & Rayasam, we provide the comprehensive legal help you need to protect your reputation, your record, and your freedom. Call or contact our Atlanta criminal defense attorneys online today and request a confidential consultation.