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Seth Okin on Prostitution and Solicitation Investigations

Criminal Defense Attorney Seth Okin Discusses Solicitation and Prostitution Investigations

The following blog is excerpted from a transcription of an interview with attorney Seth Okin in which he discusses prostitution charges in Maryland.

How are prostitution and solicitation cases typically investigated?

Seth Okin: Usually they are looking for the assignation, meaning making the engagement or appointment for a prostituted act or solicited act from a prostitute. That’s what they want. They need to show that there was intent for an act to lead to some form of prostitution and that the actual act and the money were discussed. That’s what they need to show – that you were there, you were willing, and you were willing to give the finances to do so. That is really what it comes down to.

What players may be involved in these types of investigations?

Seth Okin: The vice squads and task forces are dedicated to these investigations. The local police are aware of these acts and the actual locations where the activity takes place. They watch the locations and they send in their undercover agents. They also have ads on BackPage, Craigslist or other sites. They set up their own offices, so when you show up at the hotel, the officer is inside and the rest of them are simply waiting outside.

How does the prosecution go about building their case?

Seth Okin: A lot of it is built through the actual event itself. They spend a lot of time going back and forth with people, so a lot of people get scared and don’t actually come in. But they spend a good amount of time building thatrecord with the individual’s involvement in these acts. They are waiting for you to be physically present somewhere, either meeting someone who could be a prostitute or someone who is going to solicit some form of prostitution from you. That is what they are waiting for because that is what they need. They need to show that you were there, that you were willing, and that you had the money. It all comes down to the offer and the money.

How does the state treat these cases?

Seth Okin: The state treats these cases very seriously. Their biggest thing right now is protecting individuals who are being taken advantage of. A lot of massage houses are busted for prostitution on top of the fact that they are using people that are not U.S. citizens who have been trafficked here and are being used or abused. That is an awful situation. That is exactly what they are trying to prevent, so they take these cases very seriously. They are prosecuted very intensely and the judges have a tendency to be hard on them as well.

What goes into investigating these types of cases for the defense?

Seth Okin: The most important factor for the defense is the actual report given by the officer. I also do some research on the location in order to find out if it is a frequently used establishment or a frequently used area where busts are regularly taking place and what, if anything, they do to entice people. I also need to investigate how the interaction took place.

Seth Okin is an aggressive criminal defense attorney who represents clients charged in Maryland. Call his Maryland law office to schedule a free consultation at (410) 782-0742.