What to Do if You’ve Been Arrested for Using SkipTheGames.com
When people hear the word “prostitution,” they often think of some seedy motel or dark alleyway. But nowadays, illegal escorting services are commonly found elsewhere – on the Internet. One study estimates that 80% of all sex sales now happen online.
Websites like Skipthegames.com, Adult Friend Finder, Craigslist, and the now-defunct CityXGuide and Backpage.com have enabled users to conveniently make arrangements for paid sex work. Using these sites for advertising or soliciting prostitution, however, can lead to serious criminal charges.
If you’ve been arrested for prostitution and solicitation after using a site like Skipthegames.com, you should know what to expect and how to reduce the impacts of a conviction.
How Skip the Games and Similar Websites Work
Platforms like SkipTheGames.com allow users to conduct transactions virtually like any shopping website. But on these websites, “sellers” can make profiles and post ads about their sexual services. They usually leave out any mention of money to avoid raising suspicion.
From there, prospective customers can contact them and arrange to meet for paid sexual services.
Users don’t need to go on the dark web to participate in the illegal sex trade. Plenty of websites similar to Skip the Games will advertise themselves as dating apps, online marketplaces, and other communities for consenting adults. However, using these sites to solicit or promote prostitution is illegal.
Using SkipTheGames.com Can Lead to Prostitution Charges
Pennsylvania law enforcement officials pay close attention to popular websites for advertising and soliciting prostitution. This includes sites like Adult Friend Finder and Skip the Games, where police can conduct online sting operations to arrest unsuspecting users.
You could be charged with promoting or soliciting prostitution if you’re caught using a website to find a prostitute or engage in sexual activity for money.
This isn’t the same as subscribing to an OnlyFans account or sending tips to a sex worker for “camming” (filming themselves engaging in sexual activities). Some sex working sites are legal. However, physically engaging or intending to engage in sexual activity as a paid business is considered prostitution.
Prostitution and Solicitation Charges in Pennsylvania
The full list of criminal charges related to prostitution is outlined in Chapter 18, § 5902 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. Under these statutes, it is illegal to:
- Hire a prostitute for sex
- Partake in sexual activity for money
- Loiter in or within view of a public place for the purposes of engaging in prostitution
- Promote prostitution, i.e., find a prostitute for someone else
Both buyers and sellers can face up to one year in prison if convicted of prostitution, as well as a $5,000 fine per charge. The penalties increase if someone under 18 is involved or one party withholds their positive HIV/AIDS status.
It is important to note that police do not need evidence of you carrying out prostitution in order to press charges against you. This means you do not need to exchange money or even have sex. Making arrangements online could be enough to charge you with prostitution and solicitation.
Arrested After Using an Escorting Website? Here’s What to Do
Facing criminal charges for your online activity can be incredibly stressful. Your spouse, family, friends, coworkers, and others can quickly find out about your charges. If they do, it could damage the reputation and relationships you’ve worked hard to build.
That’s why it’s crucial to know what to do after you’ve been arrested in a sting operation on SkipTheGames.com, Adult Friend Finder, or another site you allegedly used for prostitution. Here are some ways to help protect yourself against online prostitution charges in Pennsylvania:
Contact an Experienced Online Sex Crimes Attorney
The moment you are arrested on suspicion of soliciting, promoting, or advertising prostitution, you should contact a sex crimes defense attorney immediately.
An aggressive and experienced Pittsburgh prostitution defense lawyer can help protect your rights, reputation, and future from these damaging allegations. As your legal representation, Worgul, Sarna, & Ness, P.C. will work on reducing or dismissing your charges and building the best defense possible.
Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent
If you’ve been arrested for prostitution and solicitation after using an adult website, you must exercise your right to remain silent. This will help you avoid incriminating yourself.
Following your arrest, police officers will conduct a formal investigation, which could include interviewing you about the allegations. They might ask questions that seem trivial, but any response could reveal information they need to convict you.
Make sure you have your attorney present for questioning. That way, you can have a legal advocate to answer on your behalf and preserve your rights.
Turn Over Any Evidence to Your Attorney
You might believe deleting your chats, browser history, and other evidence of your alleged activity will help your case. However, it can worsen your situation if police have requested this evidence. Deleting records of your activity on skipthegames.com and similar sites could be considered tampering with evidence – a second-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania.
Instead of trying to clean up your own mess, you should give any damning evidence to your lawyer. They will look over screenshots, text messages, and other data related to your offense to help you fight these charges.
Arrested in an Online Sting Operation? Contact a Prostitution Defense Attorney Today
If you’ve been charged with prostitution and solicitation after using a website to arrange for the sale of sex, you shouldn’t wait to act. Hiring an experienced sex crimes defense attorney at Worgul, Sarna, & Ness, P.C. can be a critical first step in preserving your freedom. Our lawyers have helped countless clients obtain the best results possible after being arrested in an online sting operation for prostitution charges. Let us help you, too.