NJ Prostitution a Concern for Law Enforcement During Super Bowl Week
This year’s Super Bowl is bringing more than just football fans to New Jersey. An increase in the number of prostitutes descending on New Jersey has led to heightened awareness of the sex trafficking industry.
Although it is still debatable whether the Super Bowl is actually “the largest human trafficking venue on the planet,” as some have argued, the connection between the event and a widespread increase in prostitution more generally is undeniable.
According to authorities in the states in which the past three Super Bowls were held, four total arrests involving human trafficking were made in connection with the Super Bowl in recent years. Law enforcement officials have also noted a multitude of prostitution-related charges in Super Bowl locations.
In anticipation of the upcoming Super Bowl, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office issued the following statement:
“The data we have seen – as well as common sense and experience – tells us that large events that draw wealthy tourists from around the globe tend also to draw increased demand for prostitution. That demand is particularly apparent on the Internet, and we have already begun to see increased volume of prostitution and ‘escort’ ads in connection with the upcoming Super Bowl.”
An investigation conducted by the Asbury Park Press found that one of the most often-accessed escort service websites on the Internet showed a massive increase in listings in North and Central Jersey in the past month. The newspaper reported just 39 total listings on the website on January 3, which skyrocketed to 173 postings on January 24.
There is a significant legal distinction between prostitution and sex trafficking. Significantly, prostitution does not necessarily involve the coercion of the individual engaging in commercial sex. Prostitution offenses in New Jersey are governed under N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1. As set forth by the statute, prostitution can be considered a crime of the second or third degree, or it can be considered a disorderly persons offense.
In a typical prostitution case, the charge is classified as a disorderly persons offense, punishable by up to six months in the county jail, a fine of as much as $1,000, and a permanent blemish on one’s criminal record.
To learn more, see the NJ.com article entitled “Is Sex Trafficking at the Super Bowl a Myth?”
If you’ve been charged with a sex crime in New Jersey, contact Morristown NJ criminal defense attorney Travis J. Tormey for a free consultation about your case.