Have you Been Charged with Pandering in Georgia?
Sexual crimes come with serious negative connotations. Often, people assume you are guilty before you even have a chance to speak. The Georgia Pandering Attorneys at Lawson and Berry will never assume your guilt! We have over 50 combined years of criminal defense experience. We have successfully defended clients charged with sexual offenses and are prepared to assist with your case now. Call to schedule an appointment with one of our pandering lawyers in Georgia.
Georgia Pandering Laws
Prostitution and related crimes carry significant penalties and lasting consequences in Georgia.
Pandering can occur in three different ways. A person commits pandering when:
- They solicit a person to perform an act of prostitution on his or her behalf;
- They solicit a person to perform an act of prostitution on behalf of a third person; or
- When they assemble people at a fixed place for the purpose of being solicited by others to perform an act of prostitution. O.C.G.A. §16-6-12
Georgia Case Law
The Georgia Court of Appeals found sufficient evidence to convict Joseph Bernard Kea of pandering. Joseph Bernard Kea III was charged with sexual battery and pandering. Kea appealed his conviction arguing there was insufficient evidence demonstrating he violated O.C.G.A. §16-6-12. The facts of the case are that Kea interviewed the victim, S.W., for a position at the trucking company. S.W. failed the typing test, but Kea said he would give her the job if she had sexual intercourse with him. S.W. had no other job options, so she agreed with Kea's proposal. After several weeks, Kea continued to approach S.W. requesting sex and S.W. believed that if she did not agree, she would be fired. Based on the evidence presented, the Court found that there was sufficient proof to find Kea guilty of pandering. Requiring sexual activities as a condition of employment constitutes pandering. Even though Kea tried to argue that he did not give S.W. any money for the acts, the Court inferred that Kea solicited S.W. to engage in sexual acts and in turn, gave her a paying job. This was sufficient evidence to support the pandering conviction. Kea v. State, 344 Ga. App. 251, (2018).
Penalty for a Pandering Conviction in Georgia
A person convicted of pandering in Georgia will be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high or aggravated nature. The penalties imposed will depend on the specific circumstances of the case along with any prior criminal history. However, the punishment will likely include fines, jail time, community service, and the requirement to register with the Sex Offender Registry.
Pandering could be elevated to a felony conviction if the situation involved the participation of people under 18 years of age. If the accomplices are under 16 years of age, the punishment will be 10-30 years in prison, a fine up to $100,000, or both. If the person is between 16 and 18 years old, then the punishment will be 5-20 years in prison, a fine between $2,500-$10,000, or both. O.C.G.A. §16-6-13
If the offense was committed within 1,000 feet of any school building, school grounds, place of worship, or playground used by people under 17 years, then the offender will also be fined an additional $2,500.
Another implication of a pandering conviction is that they must register as a sex offender. The defendant will appear on the Georgia public offender database as well as the national sexual offender database. Sex offenders are prohibited from living near churches, schools, or other areas where minors congregate such as parks or pools.
Lastly, a person convicted of pandering in Georgia will have a notice of conviction published in their county paper. It will include their photograph, name, address, date, time, place of arrest, and disposition of the case.
Because of the seriousness of the potential consequences, it is critical that you hire a pandering attorney in Georgia immediately.
Defenses to Pandering in Georgia
There was no solicitation: Evidence that no proposal was made to perform an act of prostitution could result in your case being dismissed. However, this can be a complicated defense, therefore, you need an experienced Pandering Attorney in Georgia.
It was a misunderstanding: If you were not trying to solicit prostitution or there was a mistake between the parties, then that is a defense as well. Strong proof must be presented supporting this argument.
The purpose of the group was not for pandering: According to the statute, assembling a group of people to be solicited by others is a crime. However, any evidence that it was not the intended purpose would be greatly beneficial in your case. However, they could be charged with another crime, so it is still important to contact a Georgia Pandering Lawyer.
What Does Not Constitute a Defense
The act was not on my behalf: Pandering can be for your own benefit or the benefit of a third person. If you solicit someone to perform an act of prostitution on behalf of a third party, then you could still be guilty of pandering.
The act was not completed: The statute does not specify that the act of prostitution has to be completed. Instead, it states that pandering has occurred when he or she solicits someone else to act. Therefore, the crime has been completed once the request is complete.
I did not directly solicit someone; I just held a get together: If you arrange a group of people for the purpose of being requested by others for prostitution, then you have still violated the statute. However, if you held a function and someone was requested to engage in prostitution but that was not the purpose of the event, then no crime has occurred.
The pandering lawyers in Georgia at Lawson and Barry will work to create a robust defense strategy in your case! You have rights and defenses available to you so call us now, and we can discuss your situation. Every second counts when charged with a crime of this nature. Call now to speak with a sex crime lawyer in Georgia.