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Offering to Sell or Purchase 

Chapter 725 of the Iowa Code contains several sections relating to "vice" crimes. A vice is viewed as an immoral or sinful behavior including crimes that are sexually motivated such as prostitution. Prostitution crimes are set out in Iowa Code § 725.1.

Prostitutional crimes are committed by the sex worker (prostitute), the patron who solicits those services, and a pimp who often facilitates the transaction. Prostitution is typically charged as an aggravated misdemeanor if a person is accused of selling, offering for sale, purchasing, or offering to purchase services as a partner in a sex act.

Attorneys for Prostitution Crimes in Des Moines, Iowa

If you were charged with either offering to commit prostitution, soliciting a prostitute, or facilitating the transaction, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Des Moines, Iowa, at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Our attorneys represent clients charged with sexually motivated crimes throughout Iowa.

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call (515) 279-9700 today.


Elements of Offering to Sell or Purchase a Sex Act

To prove the crime of prostitution, the prosecutor with the State of Iowa prove the following element beyond all reasonable doubt including:

  1. The defendant either:
    • sold or offered for sale services as a partner in a sex act; or
    • purchased or offered to purchase the services as a partner in a sex act.

If you were charged with the crime of prostitution under Iowa Code section 725.1 by either offering the act or soliciting a sexual act from a prostitute, then contact a criminal defense attorney in Des Moines, Iowa at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

The two ways of proving prostitution relate to the manner in which the sex act was executed or proffered.


Definition of Sex Act for Prostitution Statutes in Iowa

Under Iowa law for prostitution crimes, the term "sex act" is defined as any sexual contact:

  1. By penetration of the penis into the vagina or anus.
  2. Between the mouth of one person and the genitals of another.
  3. Between the genitals of one person and the genitals or anus of another.
  4. Between the finger or hand of one person and the genitals or anus of another person.
  5. By a person's use of an artificial sex organ or a substitute for a sexual organ in contact with the genitals or anus of another.

The standard jury instructions in Iowa provide that the jury may "consider the type of contact and the circumstances surrounding it in deciding whether the contact was sexual in nature." Although contact must be sexual in nature, the prosecutor is not necessarily required to show skin-to-skin contact not required to establish the "sex act".

The phrase "offered for sale" or "offered to purchase" refers to any verbal statement, act, or conduct which invites a person to be a partner in a sex act for money or another thing of value, regardless of whether a sex act occurred or a person made an actual payment of any kind to either person.

In Iowa, the request, solicitation, or acceptance does not have to be in any particular form of words. It can arise from a gesture or other expression which indicates a sex act was to occur.


This article was last updated on Friday, July 7, 2017.

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