A prominent NJ criminal lawyer pleaded guilty the other day to promoting prostitution. The related charge stemmed from his involvement in a popular escort service operated out of New York.  The attorney had originally been charged with felony offenses but the plea involved a downgrade to a misdemeanor offense.

It is unclear from the reports as to the exact of the defendant’s involvement in the prostitution enterprise. Nonetheless, the New Jersey Prostitution Law, N.J.S.A. 2C:34-1, would expose an individual who promotes prostitution to a Disorderly Persons Offense, Fourth Degree Crime or Third Degree Crime, depending on the underlying facts and circumstances.  An accused promotes prostitution when he or she operates a prostitution business, induces another to be a prostitute, solicits someone to engage a prostitute, transports a prostitute or provides property to be used for prostitution. It appears that the attorney was more of a silent partner in the prostitution venture in question but that would, nevertheless, constitute conduct which promotes prostitution. His plea was to NY’s version of our Disorderly Persons Offense of Promotion Prostitution.

The outcome in this case is akin to what you would expect to happen in New Jersey.  I am glad that the lawyer was treated fairly rather than receiving harsher treatment than a normal person under the circumstances.  A felony was avoided and this seems just in view of the fact that no one was intentionally injured.