796.09 Coercion; Civil Cause of Action; Evidence; Defenses; Attorney's Fees

(1)  A person has a cause of action for compensatory and punitive damages against:

(a)  A person who coerced that person into prostitution;

(b)  A person who coerces that person to remain in prostitution; or

(c)  A person who uses coercion to collect or receive any part of that person's earnings derived from prostitution.

(2)  As used in this section, the term "prostitution" has the same meaning as in s. 796.07.

(3)  As used in this section, the term "coercion" means any practice of domination, restraint, or inducement for the purpose of or with the reasonably foreseeable effect of causing another person to engage in or remain in prostitution or to relinquish earnings derived from prostitution, and includes, but is not limited to:

(a)  Physical force or threats of physical force.

(b)  Physical or mental torture.

(c)  Kidnapping.

(d)  Blackmail.

(e)  Extortion or claims of indebtedness.

(f)  Threat of legal complaint or report of delinquency.

(g)  Threat to interfere with parental rights or responsibilities, whether by judicial or administrative action or otherwise.

(h)  Promise of legal benefit.

(i)  Promise of greater financial rewards.

(j)  Promise of marriage.

(k)  Restraint of speech or communication with others.

(l)  Exploitation of a condition of developmental disability, cognitive limitation, affective disorder, or substance dependency.

(m)  Exploitation of victimization by sexual abuse.

(n)  Exploitation of pornographic performance.

(o)  Exploitation of human needs for food, shelter, safety, or affection.

(4)  In the course of litigation under this section, any transaction about which a plaintiff testifies or produces evidence does not subject such plaintiff to criminal prosecution or any penalty or forfeiture. Further, any testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, or information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or evidence which is given or produced by a plaintiff or a witness for a plaintiff shall not be used against these persons in any other investigation or proceeding. Such testimony or evidence, however, may be used against a plaintiff or a witness for a plaintiff upon any criminal investigation or proceeding for perjury committed while giving such testimony or producing such evidence.

(5)  It does not constitute a defense to a complaint under this section that:

(a)  The plaintiff was paid or otherwise compensated for acts of prostitution;

(b)  The plaintiff engaged in acts of prostitution prior to any involvement with the defendant; or

(c)  The plaintiff made no attempt to escape, flee, or otherwise terminate contact with the defendant.

(6)  Evidence of convictions for prostitution or prostitution-related offenses are inadmissible in a proceeding brought under this section for purposes of attacking the plaintiff's credibility.

(7)  In any action brought under this section, the court, in its discretion, may award prevailing plaintiffs reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

History.--s. 1, ch. 91-32; s. 20, ch. 93-227.