Portland Police, Washington, and Clackamas County Sheriffs’ Offices have been running prostitution / commercial sexual solicitation decoy stings online for the last few years. These stings are mainly done in the personals section of  backpage.com. They post an ad in the “w4m” section advertising or alluding to sex. Then they try to get the man to agree to a sex act via text (usually full service “FS”). Once the guy shows up at the hotel, they’re arrested shortly after, sometimes taken to jail, and sometimes released, depending on where the sting is performed.

There are 2 charges that a man can be charged with following one of these solicitation stings: Prostitution (ORS 167.007) and what used to be known as patronizing a prostitute, Commercial Sexual Solicitation (167.008). They both contain the same elements the state has to prove. If the person pays or offers or agrees to pay, a fee to engage in sexual conduct or sexual contact. Typically men who attempt to buy sex are charged with commercial sexual solicitation in Oregon.

The key thing here is that for one to be guilty, the state doesn’t have to prove the person paid a prostitute, they just have to prove to agree that the person offered or agreed to pay a fee to engage in sexual conduct. When this happens is different in every case and it is important for an attorney to determine. There may be a defense in one solicitation case where there’s not in another.

The punishments for solicitation vary. Technically, since they are Class A Misdemeanors, they carry a potential 364-day jail sentence and a $6,250 fine. That’s not what one usually gets. It really depends on where the person was arrested. Being arrested for solicitation in Multnomah County differs from being arrested in Washington County, which differs from Clackamas County. It’s important to have an attorney who’s experienced in all areas.

It’s also possible that an experienced attorney can waive some of your court appearances, making things less stressful. If that’s the case, it doesn’t look bad to the court, it’s just the benefit of having an attorney who knows how the system works.

Have you been arrested for patronizing a prostitute or prostitution / commercial sexual solicitation? Contact us immediately to assure the best possible outcome and protect yourself.

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It’s also important to remember that if you are reading this because you were arrested for Prostitution / Commercial Sexual Solicitation, it’s not the end of the world. A good attorney can look for legal defenses or work out a reasonable deal if no defense exists. Prostitution / Commercial Sexual Solicitation are not legally considered sex crimes, so they are expunge-able. Ultimately a solicitation arrest or conviction can be expunged from your record and you can move on with your life.