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CPS announces first sex-for-rent charges

|News, Sexual offences

Senior Crown Prosecutor Claire Prodger said: “Following an investigation into so-called ‘sex-for-rent’ allegations, the CPS has authorised Surrey Police to charge Christopher Cox with two counts of inciting prostitution for gain and one count of controlling prostitution for gain.

“The charges arose out of an investigation by ITV researchers, passed to police in 2019, which resulted in further criminal enquiries.

“This is a complex case and we have reached the decision following a careful review of all the evidence gathered during this period.

“Criminal proceedings against this defendant are now active and he has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

The defendant will make his first court appearance at North East Surrey magistrates' court on 24 February.

These are believed to be the first charges brought for this type of allegation in England and Wales.

It follows the publication of revised CPS legal guidance in January 2019, which was drafted to assist police and prosecutors considering sex-for-rent allegations.

Notes to editors

  • Christopher Cox [DOB: 18/6/1968), of Cranleigh, Surrey, is charged with two counts of inciting prostitution for gain contrary to s52 of the Sexual Offences Act (SOA) 2003 and one count of controlling prostitution for gain contrary to s53 or the SOA 2003
  • Claire Prodger is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the CPS South East Complex Casework Unit. 
  • The function of the CPS is not to decide whether a person is guilty of a criminal offence, but to make fair, independent and objective assessments about whether it is appropriate to present charges for a criminal court to consider.
  • The CPS assessment of any case is not in any sense a finding of, or implication of, any guilt or criminal conduct. It is not a finding of fact, which can only be made by a court, but rather an assessment of what it might be possible to prove to a court, in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.
  • CPS prosecutors must also keep every case under review, so that they take account of any change in circumstances that occurs as the case develops, including what becomes known of the defence case. If appropriate, the CPS may change the charges or stop a case. 

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