18 U.S.C. § 1591 : US Code - Section 1591: Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion

Search 18 U.S.C. § 1591 : US Code - Section 1591: Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion

      (a) Whoever knowingly - 
        (1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, or within
      the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United
      States, recruits, entices, harbors, transports, provides,
      obtains, or maintains by any means a person; or
        (2) benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value,
      from participation in a venture which has engaged in an act
      described in violation of paragraph (1),

    knowing, or in reckless disregard of the fact, that means of force,
    threats of force, fraud, coercion described in subsection (e)(2),
    or any combination of such means will be used to cause the person
    to engage in a commercial sex act, or that the person has not
    attained the age of 18 years and will be caused to engage in a
    commercial sex act, shall be punished as provided in subsection
    (b).
      (b) The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) is - 
        (1) if the offense was effected by means of force, threats of
      force, fraud, or coercion described in subsection (e)(2), or by
      any combination of such means, or if the person recruited,
      enticed, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained had not
      attained the age of 14 years at the time of such offense, by a
      fine under this title and imprisonment for any term of years not
      less than 15 or for life; or
        (2) if the offense was not so effected, and the person
      recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained
      had attained the age of 14 years but had not attained the age of
      18 years at the time of such offense, by a fine under this title
      and imprisonment for not less than 10 years or for life.

      (c) In a prosecution under subsection (a)(1) in which the
    defendant had a reasonable opportunity to observe the person so
    recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided, obtained or
    maintained, the Government need not prove that the defendant knew
    that the person had not attained the age of 18 years.
      (d) Whoever obstructs, attempts to obstruct, or in any way
    interferes with or prevents the enforcement of this section, shall
    be fined under this title, imprisoned for a term not to exceed 20
    years, or both.
      (e) In this section:
        (1) The term "abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal
      process" means the use or threatened use of a law or legal
      process, whether administrative, civil, or criminal, in any
      manner or for any purpose for which the law was not designed, in
      order to exert pressure on another person to cause that person to
      take some action or refrain from taking some action.
        (2) The term "coercion" means - 
          (A) threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against
        any person;
          (B) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person
        to believe that failure to perform an act would result in
        serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or
          (C) the abuse or threatened abuse of law or the legal
        process.

        (3) The term "commercial sex act" means any sex act, on account
      of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.
        (4) The term "serious harm" means any harm, whether physical or
      nonphysical, including psychological, financial, or reputational
      harm, that is sufficiently serious, under all the surrounding
      circumstances, to compel a reasonable person of the same
      background and in the same circumstances to perform or to
      continue performing commercial sexual activity in order to avoid
      incurring that harm.
        (5) The term "venture" means any group of two or more
      individuals associated in fact, whether or not a legal entity.