Sex for a Fee

Engaging in sexual conduct for a fee is a crime under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272 Section 53A.


If you have been charged with prostitution, there are two elements that the prosecutor will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted.

  1. You engaged or offered or agreed to engage in sexual conduct with some other person.

  2. That sexual activity was or was to be done in exchange for a fee. This means that there was or was to be some sort of commercial transaction.

Prostitution is not protected by the constitution because this is not the kind of personal decision that comes under our privacy protections.

Procuring Sex For a Fee

If you have been charged with being a customer or procuring sexual conduct for a fee, the government will have to prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. You paid or offered or agreed to pay another person.

  2. The payment was in exchange for sexual conduct or for an agreement to engage in sexual conduct with you or with another person. Again, some commercial transaction must be involved in order to satisfy this element.

With respect to both of the above, “sexual conduct” means sexual intercourse, oral sex (including both fellatio and cunnilingus), anal sex, intrusion of one’s body part or an object into the genital or anal opening of another, and masturbation of another person.

Selective prosecution of women is not allowed in Massachusetts, and charges of sex for a fee against a female must be dismissed with prejudice upon a showing that either police or prosecutors are regularly prosecuting female prostitutes but not male customers.


Sex for a fee is punishable by up to one year in the house of correction or a fine of up to $500, whether or not the sexual act takes place. While this might not seem like the most serious of all potential punishments, one must think of the effects that such a conviction will have on one’s family and professional life.

Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with sex for a fee in Massachusetts, call the Law Office of Robert J. Wheeler, Jr. at (617) 973 5858 (24 hours a day and 7 days a week) or contact Attorney Wheeler online. Robert Wheeler has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense and has successfully handled countless sex for a fee cases during that time.