BDSM and The Law
This is NOT legal advice.
If you live in Rhode Island ask your Legislator
to change these laws
Age of Consent in Rhode Island is 18
§ 11-34-1 Pandering. – (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to secure a person for a house of ill fame, or to procure for a person a place as inmate of a house of ill fame; or by any promise, threat, by abuse of person, or by any other device or scheme, to cause, induce, persuade, or encourage a person to become a prostitute, to enter upon or lead a wanton or dissolute life, to become an inmate of a house of ill fame, to enter a place in which prostitution is encouraged or allowed, or remain in it as an inmate, or to come into this state or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution. It shall be unlawful for any person to receive or give, or agree to receive or give, any money or thing of value for procuring or attempting to procure any person to become a prostitute, to enter upon or lead a wanton or dissolute life, or to become an inmate of a house of ill fame, either within or without this state, or come into this state or leave this state for the purpose of prostitution. It shall be unlawful for any person by any means to keep, hold, or detain against his or her will or restrain any person in any place for the purpose of prostitution, or in a house of ill fame or other place where prostitution is practiced or allowed for any purpose; or to directly or indirectly keep, hold, detain, or restrain, or attempt to keep, hold, detain, or restrain in any house of ill fame or other place where prostitution is allowed or practiced, any person by any means for the purpose of compelling that person, directly or indirectly, to pay, liquidate, or cancel any debt, dues, or obligations incurred or said to have been incurred by that person.
(b) Every person who commits any of the offenses described in subsection (a) of this section, or who assists, abets, or aids another to commit any of those offenses, shall be guilty of pandering. For the first offense that person shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year and not more than five (5) years and a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000), nor more than five thousand dollars ($5,000). For every subsequent offense that person shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three (3) years and not more than ten (10) years and a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000), nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
§ 11-34-5.1 Deriving support or maintenance from prostitution.
– Any person, knowing a person to be a prostitute, who shall live or derive support or maintenance, in whole or in part, from the earnings or proceeds of prostitution, from moneys loaned, advanced to, or charged against the prostitute by any keeper, manager, or inmate of a house of ill fame or other place where prostitution is practiced or allowed, or who shall share in the earnings, proceeds or moneys, shall be punished by imprisonment in the adult correctional institutions for not less than one year nor more than five (5) years, or by a fine of not less than two thousand dollars ($2,000) and not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both, and for every subsequent offense shall be punished by imprisonment for not less three (3) years and not more than ten (10) years, and by a fine of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000) and not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both. However, nothing in this section shall apply to a minor dependent of the prostitute.
CHAPTER 11-31 Obscene and Objectionable Publications and Shows
§ 11-31-1 Circulation of obscene publications and shows. – (a)
Every person who willfully or knowingly promotes for the purpose of commercial
gain within the community any show, motion picture, performance, photograph,
book, magazine, or other material which is obscene shall, upon conviction, be
punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) nor more than one
thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years,
(b) For the purpose of this section:
(1) In determining whether or not a show, motion picture,
performance, photograph, book, magazine, or other material is obscene the trier
of the fact must find:
(i) That the average person, applying contemporary community
standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient
(ii) That the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive
way, sexual conduct specifically defined by this chapter; and
(iii) That the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary,
artistic, political, or scientific value.
(2) "Community standards" means the geographical area
of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.
(3) "Knowingly" means having knowledge of the
character and content of the material or failure on notice to exercise
reasonable inspection which would disclose the content and character of it.
(4) "Material" means anything tangible which is
capable of being used or adapted to arouse prurient interest through the medium
of reading, or observation.
(5) "Patently offensive" means so offensive on its
face as to affront current standards of decency.
(6) "Performance" means any play, motion picture,
dance, or other exhibition performed before an audience.
(7) "Promote" means to manufacture, issue, sell, give,
provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmit, publish, distribute,
circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, or advertise or to offer or agree to
do it for resale.
(8) "Sexual conduct" means:
(i) An act of sexual intercourse, normal or perverted, actual or
simulated, including genital-genital, anal-genital, or oral-genital intercourse,
whether between human beings or between a human being and an animal.
(ii) Sado-masochistic abuse, meaning flagellation or torture by
or upon a person in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification.
(iii) Masturbation, excretory functions, and lewd exhibitions of
(9) "Standards of decency" means community standards
(c) If any of the depictions and descriptions of sexual conduct
described in this section are declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to
be unlawfully included because the depictions or descriptions are
constitutionally protected or for any other reason, that declaration shall not
invalidate this chapter as to other sexual conduct included in this chapter.
§ 11-31-2 Forfeiture of obscene publications. – Any obscene
book, pamphlet, ballad, printed paper, or other thing mentioned in § 11-31-1
found by any officer in executing a search warrant or which shall be produced
and brought into court shall be forfeited to the state. Further proceedings
shall be had on them for their forfeiture as is prescribed by law in chapter 21
of title 12, and upon entry of final judgment of forfeiture the item shall be
destroyed by order of the court. However, if any book, pamphlet, ballad, printed
paper or other thing mentioned in § 11-31-1 is seized by any officer in
executing a search warrant, it shall not be forfeited to the state unless the
person, firm, corporation, or association claiming a proprietary interest in and
to it or in whose possession it is found has been accorded the opportunity for a
hearing on the question of whether it is obscene as provided by § 12-5-8.
§ 11-31-8 Entry of premises by sheriff or deputies. – The
sheriff of any county or any of his deputies, when so directed by him or her,
may, in the discharge of their duties, enter any exhibition, performance, or
place mentioned in this chapter or chapter 22 of title 5.