The bill amends Section 11-34.1-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 11-34.1 entitled "Commercial Sexual Activity" to redefine the offense of prostitution and set the penalties for such conduct. Prostitution is defined as engaging, agreeing, or offering to engage in sexual conduct with another person for a fee. The penalties for a first offense include a misdemeanor charge, imprisonment for up to six months, and/or a fine between $250 and $1,000. Subsequent offenses may result in imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine between $500 and $1,000. Additionally, the bill introduces an affirmative defense for those accused of prostitution if they were forced into commercial sexual activity through threats, physical harm, restraint, abuse of legal process, or intimidation.

Furthermore, the bill adds a new section, 11-34.1-15, which grants immunity from citation, arrest, or prosecution for prostitution or related offenses if the individual reports a crime to law enforcement in good faith, assists in the investigation or prosecution, or provides truthful testimony. This immunity applies even if the reported crime is not prosecuted or does not result in a conviction. The bill also specifies that if a victim or witness withdraws their cooperation due to safety concerns or health issues, they may not be charged under the cited sections. The act is set to take effect upon passage, and it aims to provide immunity under certain circumstances for offenses related to commercial sexual activity.

Statutes affected:
7165  SUB A: 11-34.1-2
7165: 11-34.1-2