Oregon prostitution law

Oregon, nicknamed the Beaver State, divides its laws prohibiting prostitution and related crimes into three separate distinctions. The three divisions are: prostitution, promotion and compulsion. Offenses in Oregon are taken very seriously with potential fines being high and imprisonment sentences being lengthy.


Any male or female person who engages in sexual contact or sexual conduct with another person for a fee is considered a prostitute according to Oregon statutes. This act is strictly forbidden and is classified as a class A misdemeanor. Defendants convicted of prostitution face sentences of imprisonment up to 1 year and/or fines up to $6,250 per offense.

Patrons of prostitutes, individuals who pay, offer to pay or agree to pay for sexual conduct or sexual contact, are also guilty of class A misdemeanors with similar sentences.


Promoting prostitution is a class C felony with sentences of prison time up to 5 years and/or fines up to $125,000 per offense. One can see that promotion is taken very seriously by the state of Oregon by examining the potential sentences. There are four different crimes that are categorized as promotion offenses. They all directly help aid or facilitate the crime of prostitution.

The first crime within the promotion category is oversight of a place of prostitution or prostitution enterprise. Anyone who maintains, manages, controls, owns or supervises (in whole or in part with others) a place of prostitution (brothel) or a prostitution business may be convicted of promotion of prostitution. Many courts have specific rules about what kinds of testimony are admitted as evidence in order to prove that a particular place is a place of prostitution. Oregon laws mandate that the general reputation of a place or the persons who reside in that place is competent evidence for prosecution purposes.

Inducing or encouraging others to engage in prostitution or to remain in the business of prostitution is a crime considered promotion.

Anyone who receives money or other valuable property as a result of an agreement with someone involved with acts of prostitution is involved in promotion. For this offense to be a crime, the proceeds must be derived from direct acts of prostitution.

Anyone determined by law enforcement who engages in any other conduct deemed to aid or facilitate the furtherance of prostitution or a enterprise based on prostitution may be convicted of promotion and subject to sentencing.


Compelling prostitution is classified as a class B felony and is a more serious offense than promotion. The crime includes an element of violence or taking advantage of someone.

Three crimes are specified within this division of prostitution laws. The first crime is committed when someone uses force or intimidation methods, including violence or threats, to compel another person to engage in prostitution. The second crime deals with minors. Anyone who induces or causes a person under the age of 18 years old to engage in prostitution is subject to prosecution for compulsion. Finally, anyone who causes one’s own spouse, step child, child or legal ward to engage in prostitution is guilty of compulsion.

The following Nevada counties have their own laws and regulations on prostitution:

Prostitution laws in US cities:

Prostitution laws in Canada