Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

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Responding to Charges of Sexual Conduct for a Fee

Four individuals in Watertown were recently arrested at four different massage parlors and spas. All of the individuals are reportedly now facing charges related to sexual conduct for a fee. The arrests come after Watertown Police Department teamed up with the FBI’s child exploitation and human trafficking task force to perform an investigation of the massage parlors. The operation was focused on identifying establishments that fail to comply with local, federal, and state regulations. 

Law enforcement did not find any evidence of human trafficking at any of the establishments. It is important, however, if you have been charged with sexual conduct for a fee, to understand exactly what this offense includes. It also helps to retain the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

What Constitutes Sexual Conduct for a Fee in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts has made it a criminal offense to pay money to someone in exchange for sexual favors. It is similarly against the law to perform a sex act on someone in exchange for money. To convict a person of this offense, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must establish two elements:

  • The person being charged engaged or agreed to engage in sexual conduct with another individual. This sexual conduct can include a variety of sexual acts instead of just intercourse. 

  • It also must be established that the act was done in exchange for a fee. 

Over the years as technology has developed and the market for sexual services has grown substantially online, the offense of sexual conduct for a fee has increased substantially. As would be expected, law enforcement has created several strategies to follow individuals who violate this law. In many cases, a person’s digital files often play a critical role in the case. 

To navigate these complex evidence issues, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer is often vital. The rise in the number of massage parlors throughout the Commonwealth has also led to a substantial increase in the number of these charges made. These locations are often the focus of undercover stings.

Defenses to Charges of Sexual Conduct for a Fee

Based on the facts of your case, there can be one or several defenses to raise in response to these charges, which include: 

  • Someone else who looked like you is the person who committed the crime, and you have been charged as a result of mistaken identity. 

  • You were in a different location at the time the offense occurred and numerous witnesses can attest to this.

  • No money or fee was exchanged for the sexual service.

  • The person accusing you of the offense has malicious intentions or an ulterior motive.

Speak with a Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Today

One of the best ways to respond to sex charges in Massachusetts is to retain the assistance of an experienced attorney like Edward Molari. Attorney Molari understands what is at stake with these charges and will work tirelessly to make sure that you have the strongest defense possible. Contact his office today to schedule a free case evaluation.