Seattle Sexual Exploitation & Patronizing a Prostitute Defense Attorney

Meet the Wills

Seattle Sexual Exploitation & Patronizing a Prostitute Defense Attorney

Western Washington has been cracking down on prostitution-related cases recently and the focus of law enforcement has been to arrest the customers, not the prostitutes. And to make things worse, prosecutors now want you to have a criminal record for this charge. We have recently fought many of these sting arrests and have been successful in getting these cases dismissed through legal motions, negotiation, and at trial. If you've been the target of one of these recent sting operations, call us today. 

Meet the Wills

30+ Years Experience
Excellent Client Reviews
Superb 10.0 Avvo Ratings
1000's of Cases Successfully Resolved
Court Will - seattle criminal defense attorney on phone


Court and Michelle developed a specialty representing those arrested in sex stings through their involvement with Dateline NBC’s To Catch A Predator show. Court was the first attorney in the country to take one of these cases to trial. Read about Court’s success with this first case here.

seattle criminal defense attorney on to catch a predator


Recent Success in Prostitution Sting Cases

I can clearly remember when I first talked with Court, I almost cried because I was wrongly arrested by police in a sting operation and because the consequence could ruin my life…He was calm, listening carefully, taking notes carefully. The reason that I hired him is his initial analysis was logical, structured, and objective.

In the first month after I got arrested, Court quickly made strategies and preparation for a possible quick charge, which laid the foundation for winning the case and my confidence. He helped me analyze the case from all possible perspectives and outcomes…Finally comes the trial, and it lasted 3 days. Court turned to be a star on the court…his deep understanding of the case, the law, and the process, his willingness to win, and his dominated final presentation, all overwhelmed the other side, and finally led to victory.

- Evan, January 2018

Case DISMISSED! Don't really need to say more than that, but I really feel lucky to have found Court & Michelle. I was facing a misdemeanor charge, but given the nature of it (alleged "patronizing of a prostitute"), my job, and the fact that I'm not a US citizen, and there was a recipe for a disastrous outcome on my future. Fortunately, due to a violation of my rights that was discovered, the Will's were able to get the whole thing tossed out of court and now I can go on as if it didn't happen, lesson learned of course. Great communication throughout as well. Thank you, thank you, and thank you again!!

- Anonymous, December 2017


Common Sexual Exploitation & Prostitution Questions

What is “sexual exploitation” anyway?
Good question. It’s a made up title for the crime of patronizing a prostitute. The entire state of Washington calls this offense what it actually is, with the exception of the city of Seattle who managed to change the name to sexual exploitation.  The problem is that the “elements” of the offense are still exactly the same as patronizing a prostitute (elements are what have to be proven against you beyond a reasonable doubt in order to find you guilty).  In other words, the city of Seattle doesn’t have to prove that anyone was actually “sexually exploited.”  Sound unfair? It is. We’re fighting the city on this every step of the way.
Is sexual exploitation any different than patronizing a prostitute?

While there is a minor difference, the two offenses are more or less the same.  There are different prongs of these offenses that the prosecution can pursue, but the ultimate question a jury must answer in both is a version of the following: 

Did the prosecution prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Mr. Jones agreed to pay a fee to [undercover officer X] pursuant to an understanding that in exchange she would engage in sexual conduct with him?

There are many compelling arguments that we make in favor of reasonable doubt to lead the jury to answer this question with a NO.

What has to be proven against me to find me guilty of sexual exploitation or patronizing a prostitute?
In order to find you guilty, the prosecution must prove the following against you beyond a reasonable doubt:
  • That you solicited or requested someone to engage in sexual conduct with the you in return for a fee; [or]
  • Pursuant to a prior understanding, you paid a fee to someone as compensation for her having engaged in sexual conduct with you [or]
  • Paid or agreed to pay a fee to someone pursuant to an understanding that in return for the fee, she would engage in sexual conduct with you
Aren't these stings entrapment?

Contrary to popular belief, entrapment is a very high legal standard and can be difficult to prove.  When pursuing this defense, the burden of proof shifts to you (instead of on the prosecution, where it typically is) and you must convince a jury that you had no intent whatsoever to commit any crime but the police essentially talked you into it.  For example, in a massage sting, you would have to prove that you only wanted a regular massage but the police convinced you to also pay for a hand job.  Thus, it really depends on the facts of your particular case whether it will be advisable to pursue this defense or not.

What defenses are available for Sexual Exploitation and Patronizing a Prostitute?

 The facts of your particular case will dictate what your defense will be.  That said, the main three defenses are:

  • Legal challenges to any possible violation of your constitutional rights
  • Reasonable Doubt - You are presumed innocent and the burden rests solely on the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  We are experts at picking apart the prosecutions evidence to find reasonable doubt wherever it may be and point it out to the jury. 
  • Entrapment
What happens if I’m convicted? Will I go to jail?

Sexual Exploitation/Patronizing a Prostitute is a simple misdemeanor, meaning that the maximum possible sentence you could be facing is 90 days in jail.  That said, assuming you do not have prostitution prior convictions, it's very unlikely you will have to go to jail as a result of a conviction.  Aside from having a conviction on your record, you will likely also be required to do some or all of the following

  • Go to a Sex Buyer's awareness class, also referred to as "John's School"
  • Complete community service
  •  Pay a fine
  • Stay out of areas of prostitution
What are some of the potential results I can expect?

We strive for one of the following outcomes:

  • Outright Pre-Trial Dismissal: Typically only available if there is a major evidentiary problem and/or violation of your rights
  • Stipulated Order of Continuance: Known as an "SOC" this is pre-trial diversion, which results in a dismissal of the charge without ever having a conviction on your record
  • Not Guilty Verdict at Trial
  • Deferred Sentence: This is where you enter a plea of guilty, then after you satisfy certain requirements, your plea can be changed back to a plea of Not Guilty and the case is then dismissed.
What can you promise me?

You’re not going to find a more qualified team to represent you, and we are going to get you the best possible result given the facts and circumstances of your particular case.

We work really hard and are very accessible to our clients. Try calling or texting us right now; if we don’t pick up right away, we will get back to you very fast.

If I retain your services, are you going to get my charges reduced or dismissed?
The only answer I can give you at this point is “it depends…” I know, not totally satisfying, but it is honest. If another attorney promises you more than that, then they are just trying to take your money. Get out of their office (or hang up the phone) as fast as you can.
How much are your services going to cost me?

We charge fair, competitive flat fees for our services. Here’s the problem you face with a lot of other attorneys: The ultra-expensive guys aren’t going to get you a better result than we are, and the dirt cheap guys aren’t going to much of anything for you at all. That’s where we come in. While we certainly don’t have the lowest fees in the Puget Sound, we won’t make you take out a second mortgage either.

Do you exclusively handle Sex cases?
No, we don’t play marketing games like some other attorneys out there. We’re well-rounded and handle ALL criminal matters. However, due to our success and subsequent media attention regrading sex crimes we have handled, our caseload always consists of a number or felony and misdemeanor sex crimes matters. Our secret to success with sex cases is simple: we focus on what matters the most – getting you the best possible outcome.
I have a court date coming up ASAP, what do I do?!?

Hire an attorney! Is this answer self-serving? Yes. Despite this, is it still the best possible thing you can do? YES.