State Could Hit Johns With Heftier Fines

Two bills in the legislature could greatly increase the fines for johns arrested after picking up prostitutes.

In Seattle, johns who are convicted of or plead guilty to patronizing an adult prostitute pay $1,000—plus several hundred more in additional court costs. That money goes towards prostitution prevention programs, like the “john school,” a diversion school for men who patronize prostitutes.

A new house bill, sponsored by Rep. Tina Orwall (D-33), would raise fines for johns caught with prostitutes under 21 years old to $2,000. Johns caught with a prostitute over 21 would face a $1,000 fine.

Another bill in the house, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Parker (R-6), would raise fines for johns convicted in Washington from $150 to $3,000, regardless of the age of the prostitute involved in the case. Fines for pimps would also increase from $300 to $5,000 under the legislation.