T/F Test Question: "Officer Jones, who was assigned to the narcotics unit, decided to look for possible prostitutes in the financial district of his city. Although there are no reports of a prostitution problem in this area, Officer Jones approached Betty and said, "I would pay $500.00 for some really hot sex with you." Betty declined at first, but after Jones offered $700.00 a second time, Betty agreed. Jones immediately arrested Betty for prostitution. This arrest would be considered entrapment." (correct answer: True)

Our text says the current entrapment test is this: "Was the conduct of the law enforcement agent likely to induce a normally law-abiding person to commit the offense?"

I say no. A normally law-abiding woman knows what prostitution is just like a normally law-abiding citizen knows what cocaine is. If an undercover officer offers to sell a person cocaine and they agree to buy, that wouldn't be entrapment.

Does the issue have to do with "pressure"? The text says an offer is permissible but "pressure" such as badgering or cajoling is not. This all depends on further details about the officer's conduct and to what extent cash is considered a pressure to the average woman for "really hot sex". It may be dangerous to suggest that the average woman considers $700 a serious pressure for sex.


2 Answers 2


Regardless of the context of the first solicitation, Officer Jones' second solicitation was made in willful refusal to accept Betty's unambiguous "no" for an answer; this is sexually coercive behavior, specifically postrefusal sexual persistence.

If this question is assessed from the perspective of the "average" woman, then after her initial declination, extraction of a "yes" cannot be considered uncoerced.

Here's a question: how many times does she have to say no before it starts to count? Before it counts against her finally being exhausted, harassed, or intimidated into capitulating? Because by that logic, he never has to stop; he can continue to harass her until he finally accomplishes his objective (grounds to arrest her) - in which case, why bother with the pretense? If it takes 200 "no's" to wear her down to "whatever", then the first 200 "no's" just didn't matter as much as the first "whatever", so why bother with the formality of pretending like the first mattered when it clearly does not?

To demonstrate the significance of her initial "no, thanks" and his subsequent refusal to accept it from another perspective: if Betty and Jones were coworkers in the same office, if he continued to solicit her after being told no the first time, that would be the definition of sexual harassment on his part and it would not matter how genial or friendly or casual he thinks he's being; furthermore, if her workplace failed to intervene on her behalf, they would be engaging in sexually discriminatory behavior by creating a hostile work environment, regardless of how genial / friendly / casual, etc.

It's hard to see how this could act as evidence of her having committed a crime in one context while being grounds for termination of his employment in another context.


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    – feetwet
    Commented Mar 11, 2018 at 4:11

May I just say that Officer Jones is an idiot, because Betty hasn't actually committed any act of prostitution. A requirement for prostitution is actual sexual activity, which has obviously not happened. There has been no agreement to having sex with Jones; there has been an answer "Yes" which is very likely out of curiousity what this stranger will do if answered "Yes", whether he actually has any cash or what.

If this was not an officer, then how this would likely played out is either "Will you have sex for $500"? "No." "Will you have sex for $700"? "Yes, show us the money". "I don't have the money". "Piss off, you idiot". Or alternatively "Will you have sex for $500"? "No." "Will you have sex for $700"? "Yes, show us the money". "Here's the cash". "Piss off, you idiot". I'm sure many ladies would grab the money and throw it away to punish the harasser.

There is also the question whether any actual sexual activity would then constitute prostitution. Betty may have been on the lookout for someone to have sex with, may have thought that Jones looked quite attractive and figured out she could combine a bit of fun with getting some cash. Which is then not prostitution. So I would say that a normal, usually law abiding woman would not think that she would be committing a crime. Definitely not by saying "Yes" with no intention to follow through, and not by following through if the money is only a minor consideration.

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