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Iowa Prostitution and Solicitation Laws

Even though prostitution is often called "the world's oldest profession," prostitution is currently illegal in every state except Nevada. The basic definition of prostitution is the exchanging of sex for money. A crime that is related to prostitution is solicitation. Solicitation is the act of asking or encouraging another person to engage in criminal conduct. In the context of prostitution, solicitation is the act of offering money in return for sex. Promoting prostitution, also known as pimping, is another crime that's related to prostitution.

In Iowa, prostitution and soliciting prostitution are illegal under the same statute. Iowa also makes it illegal to lease premises for prostitution if the lessor knows, or should know, that prostitution is occurring on the premises.

Iowa Prostitution and Solicitation Statute

The following table is a quick summary of Iowa's prostitution and solicitation laws.

Code Section

Iowa Code Annotated § 725.1, Prostitution.

What is Prohibited?

The following is prohibited under Iowa's prostitution statute:

  • Selling (or offering to sell) oneself for sex.
  • Buying (or offering to buy) sex from another person.


  • A person who sells (or offers to sell) him or herself for sex commits an aggravated misdemeanor, which is punishable by a prison term of up to 2 years and a fine of at least $625 and not more than $6,250. If, however, the person is under 18 years old, the county attorney can choose to refer the person to human services as a child in need of assistance instead of filing criminal charges.
  • A person who buys (or offers to buy) sex from another person commits an aggravated misdemeanor. However, if the person he or she buys (or offers to buy) sex from is under 18 years old, it is a class D felony. A class D felony is punishable by a prison term of up to 5 years and a fine of at least $750 and not more than $7,500.

Iowa Prostitution and Solicitation Laws: Related Resources

You can visit FindLaw's Criminal Law section for more information and articles on this topic. If you or someone close to you is facing prostitution, solicitation or any other criminal charge, it's in your best interest to contact a criminal defense attorney in your area.

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