What Is the Military Crime of “Pandering?”

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US Army soldier in universal camouflage uniform.

A member of the United States military who facilitates the exchange of goods or services for sex (for his or her own benefit) could face charges of pandering under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

While prostitution is more widely recognized, pandering is also a very serious offense, which could greatly impact both your personal and professional life, as well as your future. Consequences of a conviction for pandering include:

  • The loss of military pay and benefits;
  • Reimbursement of reenlistment bonus
  • Rank reduction;
  • Dishonorable discharge; and/or a
  • Prison sentence of 1-5 years (or longer depending on any additional charges).

The prosecution has the burden of proving each element of pandering beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard of proof (the highest standard) requires that if there are any other explanations possible (doubts) for the crime, the accused must be acquitted. 

Elements of Pandering

The elements for a conviction of pandering include the following:

Pandering by inducing, enticing, or procuring an act of prostitution:

  1. The accused induced, enticed, or procured a certain person to engage in a sexual act for hire and reward with a person to be directed to said person by the accused;
  2. The inducing, enticing, or procuring was wrongful; and
  3. That under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. 

Pandering by arranging or receiving consideration for arranging a sexual act:

  1. The accused arranged for or received, valuable consideration for arranging for, a certain person to engage in a sexual act with another person;
  2. The arrangement (and receipt of consideration) was wrongful; and
  3. That under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. 

What Is Considered a Sexual Act?

A sexual act for purposes of pandering includes sexual intercourse or any penetration of the female sex organ by the penis. It’s important to note that the sexual act need not be exchanged for money in order for it to qualify as prostitution. It could instead by other valuable consideration. 

How Is the Act Considered Wrongful?

The act is considered wrongful so long as there exists on legal justification or excuse for it. 

It’s also worth noting that pandering is an act that requires the involvement of three people:

  1. The panderer;
  2. The prostitute; and
  3. The customer.

When only two people are involved it can instead be considered solicitation of prostitution. 

Want Makes the Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order?

In order for the conduct to be considered prejudicial to good order and discipline, it must have had an obvious and measurable impact on discipline, unit cohesion, or morale or it must have had a damaging impact on the authority and/or esteem of a service member. 

What Makes the Conduct Service Discrediting?

In order for the conduct to be considered service discrediting, it means that the open nature of the act made the service subject to public ridicule or it lowered public esteem of the service. 

The Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC Helps Military Members in Colorado Who Have Been Charged with Pandering

The U.S. Government has an interest in obtaining a conviction as soon as possible, as it does not wish to gain negative publicity about one of its service members. That is why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced military attorney as soon as possible.

If you are a military service member and have been charged with pandering under the UCMJ, the Court-Martial Law Division of Aviso Law LLC can help. We proudly serve our military members, who sacrifice so much for our country. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

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