CRS 18-7-405 is the Colorado law defining pimping as knowingly living on the proceeds of child prostitution. Pimping a minor under 18 years old is a class 3 felony punishable by four to 12 years in prison, possibly $3,000 to $750,000 in fines, and sex offender registration.
CRS 18-7-405 states:
Any person who knowingly lives on or is supported or maintained in whole or in part by money or other thing of value earned, received, procured, or realized by a child through prostitution commits pimping of a child, which is a class 3 felony.
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What is the legal definition of pimping a child under CRS 18-7-405?
- 2. Are pimping and pandering the same thing?
- 3. Can I go to prison for pimping a child?
- 4. How can the charges be fought in Colorado?
- 5. What happens to non-citizens?
- 6. Can the criminal record be sealed?
- 7. Related crimes
1. What is the legal definition of pimping a child under CRS 18-7-405?
Under Colorado law, pimping a child is defined as knowingly living off the sex work earnings of a child under 18.1 It makes no difference if the child chooses to work as a prostitute, if the amount of money involved is small, or if the prostitution occurred only once.
2. Are pimping and pandering the same thing?
No. Pandering of a child (CRS 18-7-403) occurs when someone – in exchange for money or something else of value – either:
- induces a child by menacing (CRS 18-3-206) or criminal intimidation to commit prostitution; or
- knowingly arranges – or offers to arrange – a situation in which a child may practice prostitution.
In sum, child pandering is actively managing child sex workers or threatening children into doing sex work. In contrast, child pimping is taking the proceeds of child sex work even if they played no role in inducing or managing the child prostitutes.
Oftentimes, defendants face sex offense charges for both child pimping as well as child pandering.2
3. Can I go to prison for pimping a child?
Yes. As a class 3 felony, pimping a child carries:
- 4 to 12 years in Colorado State Prison,
- A possible fine of $3,000 to $750,000, and
- Sex offender registration.3
Note that if the prostitute was an adult at least 18 years old, pimping carries four to 12 years in prison and/or a $3,000 to $750,000 fine. And there is no sex offender registration.4
Also note that pimping a child and pandering an adult carry the same penalties.5
4. How can the charges be fought in Colorado?
Ten possible defenses to Colorado child pimping charges are:
- The defendant was the victim of false accusations.
- The defendant honestly did not know the money came from a child prostitute.
- The defendant was not given money or anything of value.
- Any money the defendant received did not come from the child prostitute.
- The money the child prostitute gave the defendant was for a lawful transaction (such as purchasing merchandise).6
- The defendant’s confession was coerced by police.
- The police had no probable cause to arrest the defendant.
- The state’s evidence came from an unlawful search and seizure.
- The defendant was a victim of entrapment.
- The prostitute was not a child (this is a partial defense that would get the charge reduced to pimping an adult).
However, it is not a defense to pimping charges that the defendant genuinely believed the prostitute was an adult. It does not matter if the child looked like an adult and lied about being an adult.
5. What happens to non-citizens?
Immigrants convicted of pimping children will be deported after they finish serving their prison sentence.7 So non-citizens defendants accused of these charges should retain experienced counsel right away to try to get the case dropped. Learn about the criminal defense of immigrants.
6. Can the criminal record be sealed?
No. Colorado child pimping convictions can never be sealed. But if the court dismisses the case, then the defendant can petition the court for a record seal right away.8
7. Related crimes
- Indecent exposure (CRS 18-7-302)
- Human trafficking (CRS 18-3-503)
- Sex trafficking (CRS 18-3-504)
- Sexual assault (CRS 18-3-402)
- Soliciting for the purpose of prostitution (CRS 18-7-202)
- Soliciting child prostitution (CRS 18-7-402)
- Patronizing a prostitute (CRS 18-7-205)
- Patronizing a prostituted child (CRS 18-7-406)
- Pimping (CRS 18-7-206)
- Pandering (CRS 18-7-203)
- Inducement of child prostitution (CRS 18-7-405.5)
- Procurement of a child (CRS 18-7-403.5)
- Keeping a place of prostitution (CRS 18-7-204)
- Prostitutes making display in a public place (CRS 18-7-207)
- Unlawful sexual contact (CRS 18-3-404)
- Sexual exploitation of a child (CRS 18-6-403)
People facing child sex criminal charges are invited to contact our Colorado criminal defense lawyers for legal advice. Our criminal justice system lawyers serve clients throughout the state, including Denver, Colorado Springs, Lakewood, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, Jefferson County, Boulder, and more. Our Colorado criminal law firm handles all types of felony- and misdemeanor-cases from domestic violence to DUI. We also practice personal injury law.
In California? See our article on California pimping laws (PC 266h).
In Nevada? See our article about Nevada pimping laws (NRS 201.320).
- Colorado Revised Statute (criminal code) 18-7-405. Note that a prostitute is defined under CRS 18-7-201 as “Any person who performs or offers or agrees to perform any act of sexual intercourse, fellatio, cunnilingus, masturbation, or anal intercourse with any person not his spouse in exchange for money or other thing of value commits prostitution.”
- CRS 18-7-403.
- CRS 18-7-405. CRS 16-22-102. CRS 18-3-411.
- CRS 18-7-206.
- CRS 18-7-403.
- See People v. Ganatta, (Colo. 1981) 638 P.2d 268. See People v. Cerrone, (Colo. App. 1993) 867 P.2d 143.
- 8 USC 1101(a)(43)(K).
- CRS 24-72-701-708.