It is a criminal offence under the Sexual Offences Act 1956 for a person to keep a brothel or to manage, act or assist in the management of a brothel.

The Sexual Offences Act distinguished two offences of running a brothel. One where the defendant is charged with keeping or managing a brothel (Section 33) and a separate, potentially more serious offence, whereby a defendant is charged with running a brothel to which people resort for practices involving prostitution (Section 33A).

A person does not keep a brothel unless he or she is aware that the place is to be used by more than one prostitute for the purposes of prostitution.

The distinction between the two offences is a subtle one but essentially boils down to the fact that a brothel may include places that are not used for the purpose of paid prostitution but includes places where a woman offers herself as a participant in physical acts of indecency for the sexual gratification of men and it is not necessary that payment takes place.

Section 6 of the Sexual offences Act 1967 extends the definition of a brothel to cover homosexual activity

If you charged under Section 33A the maximum sentence is 7 years’ imprisonment, under Section 33 the maximum sentence is 3 months’ imprisonment turning to six months’ on a second conviction.

Old Bailey Solicitors have extensive experience of defending the full range of sexual offences and will be able to provide you with expert advice in relation to the relationship between the Criminal Justice System and the sex industry. Our expert criminal defence solicitors have many years of experience and are able to advise you about the limits of the law and what happens if you are being investigated.

Our criminal solicitors will act early in your investigation to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.

Can we help you? Please contact us now.

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