Sex Crimes and the Mann Act

The Mann Act was originally passed in 1910 to address the issue of “white slavery,” referring to white women being forced into prostitution. This issue had gained a lot of attention in the US earlier that year, when the Chicago District Attorney announced an international crime ring was kidnapping young girls in Europe and forcing them to work in brothels. The Act made this form of slavery illegal, and also banned the transportation of women between states for “immoral purposes.” The goal was to find a way to prosecute prostitution on a federal level, when it is generally a state crime.

Because the Mann Act is worded so vaguely, Congress has been able to expand enforcement of the Act over the years.

The validity and necessity of the Mann Act has been questioned by many different people over the years. For example, the narrowness of its original purpose – to specifically protect white women from slavery – is seen by many as part of the legacy of racism in the US. Some people are also uncomfortable with letting Congress decide what is or is not “immoral” behavior.

Today, the Mann Act is often used to add to a list of charges against a person accused of hiring a prostitute. It applies to transactions made through the mail, over the phone and through the internet. If you are accused of soliciting sex from a person in another state, with plans for that person to come to you, you could be charged with violation of the Mann Act in addition to violation of the laws your state has against prostitution.

If you have been accused of violation of the Mann Act or another internet sex crime, you should contact a dedicated Milwaukee criminal defense attorney right away. To reach experienced Milwaukee internet sex crimes defense lawyers, contact Hart Powell, S.C. at Hart Powell, S.C..

Written by Michael Hart & Craig Powell

Last Updated : May 20, 2021