Prostitution and solicitation are considered illegal in Maryland and involving minors in that is punished even more harshly because the state of Maryland has only recently declared prostitution to be a crime. The criminalization of prostitution includes the acts of selling oneself for profit, running a business of helping people sell their bodies as well as the act of pimping which is adequately termed as human trafficking by the state.
The tightening of state laws has been done in the light of preventing the exploitation and dehumanization of women and girls who are kidnapped, coerced and forced into prostitution most of the times against their will. These women and girls are most of the times illegal immigrants or victims of human trafficking and fallen into the hands of the fully flourishing sex trade industry. As a general rule, Maryland authorities punish any and all individuals involved in this trade very severely.
In detail, there are a number of acts that are strictly prohibited by the law enforcement. Including these acts is taking an individual to a place or even to a person who intends to use them for prostitution. In addition to this, persuading, encouraging and forcing a person to become a prostitute or take part in the whole business is also prohibited. Furthermore, threatening someone or making them feel obliged to take part in prostitution including physical harm threats are prohibited as are the act by parents of consenting to let their children taking part or be used for prostitution.
In addition to partaking in prostitution, the benefitting of individuals by pocketing the money earned by prostitutes and by running a brothel is also strictly prohibited. Punishments are stricter for abducting children 16 years of age or below as well as selling of a minor for prostitution purposes. The operation of a brothel is considered a misdemeanor by the state and the punishment for perpetrators is a jail sentence for up to a year along a fine of up to 10,000 dollars. The sale of a minor is also considered a misdemeanor and individuals found guilty of this are punished by up to 5 years in jail as well as a fine of a maximum of 10,000 dollars. Even worse as considered by the state is receiving the earnings of prostitution or brothels which is also considered a misdemeanor that can get a person convicted for up to 10 years in jail as well as a fine of a maximum of 10,000 dollars.
Moreover, the abduction of a minor or a child below 16 years of age is another misdemeanor that can get the convict in jail for up to 25 years along with a 5000 dollar fine. The acts of human trafficking and abduction for prostitution are both considered misdemeanors however the same if done with individuals under the age of 16 are considered felony that are punishable by up to 25 years in prison along with fines of up to 15,000 dollars. Additionally most of these crimes require registration as a sex offender for lifetime.