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It is a crime to induce a person into prostitution

New South Wales (NSW) is said to be the most liberal state in Australia when it comes to prostitution. Prostitution is decriminalized and brothels are legal in NSW. However, it is a crime to cause or induce a person who is not a prostitute into prostitution.

Legal basis for procuring a person

Section 91A of the Crimes Act 1900 punishes a person convicted of the crime of procuring a person for prostitution with imprisonment for seven years. The law provides that whoever procures, entices or leads away a person who is not a prostitute, with or without the consent of that person, for the purpose of prostitution, in or outside NSW, even though some or all of the acts of the crime may have been committed outside NSW, shall be liable for procuring a person for prostitution.

Thus, while prostitution is not illegal per se in NSW it is unlawful for a person to encourage, entice or induce a person who is not a prostitute to go into prostitution.


The maximum penalty for the offence is seven years. Since the crime is categorized as a Table 1 type of offence, the DPP or the accused may choose to have the case tried or dealt with in the District Court. If no election is made by the DPP or the accused, the case will be heard in the Local Court.  

What is a prostitution

Prostitution is the performance of sexual service for payment or some other benefit.

Proving the crime

The prosecution and the police must prove beyond reasonable doubt the existence of the following elements:

  • the act of procuring, enticing or leading away the victim
  • the victim is not a prostitute
  • the act of procurement, enticement or leading away the victim was to obtain the purpose of prostitution.

The prosecution must present proof beyond reasonable doubt that all of these elements existed at the time of the commission of the offence.


The law penalizes the offence with a maximum penalty of imprisonment for seven years. However, as with all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict an accused but to instead issue a section 10 dismissal under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.

The exercise of the court’s discretion in this instance will depend largely on the seriousness of the case, the age and health of the accused, whether the accused has a previous criminal record and any other matter that the court thinks relevant.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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