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Amanda J Peters

2014

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Modern Prostitution Reform And The Return Of Volitional Consent, Amanda J. Peters Feb 2014

Modern Prostitution Reform And The Return Of Volitional Consent, Amanda J. Peters

Amanda J Peters

For decades, prostitution laws in America have focused exclusively on contractual consent: the agreement to exchange sexual services for a fee. Courts and legislatures alike ignored volitional consent, or traditional mens rea, by concentrating on the offer and acceptance of the prostitution agreement. In this way, the law disregarded the actor’s choice to engage in the crime. The de facto strict liability nature of the offense rendered it nearly impossible for prostitutes to successfully raise the defenses of duress and necessity. The failure of the law to distinguish between voluntary and involuntary prostitution resulted in charges, trials, and convictions …