If Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is found guilty of traveling to the Dominican Republic to engage in sexual intercourse with underage prostitutes, he could face up to 30 years prison. The appropriate law, which would seem to apply in this instance, is the Prosecutorial Remedies And Other Tools To End The Exploitation Of Children Today (or the Protect Act).
Menendez voted for the law when he was a member of the House of Representatives.
“TRAVEL WITH INTENT TO ENGAGE IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT,” the law reads.
“A person who travels in interstate commerce or travels into the United States, or a United States citizen or an alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States who travels in foreign commerce, for the purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
‘‘(c) ENGAGING IN ILLICIT SEXUAL CONDUCT IN FOREIGN PLACES.—Any United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence who travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.”
The law further explains:
‘‘(d) ANCILLARY OFFENSES.—Whoever, for the purpose of commercial advantage or private financial gain, arranges, induces, procures, or facilitates the travel of a person knowing that such a person is traveling in interstate commerce or foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
‘‘(e) ATTEMPT AND CONSPIRACY.—Whoever attempts or conspires to violate subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be punishable in the same manner as a completed violation of that subsection.
‘‘(f) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, the term ‘illicit sexual conduct’ means (1) a sexual act (as defined in section 2246) with a person under 18 years of age that would be in violation of chapter 109A if the sexual act occurred in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States; or (2) any commercial sex act (as defined in section 1591) with a person under 18 years of age.
‘‘(g) DEFENSE.—In a prosecution under this section based on illicit sexual conduct as defined in subsection (f)(2), it is a defense, which the defendant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant reasonably believed that the person with whom the defendant engaged in the commercial sex act had attained the age of 18 years.’’
Menendez allegedly traveled to the Dominican Republic with a top donor to engage in sexual intercourse.
“In interviews, the two women said they met Menendez around Easter at Casa de Campo, an expensive 7,000-acre resort in the Dominican Republic. They claimed Menendez agreed to pay them $500 for sex acts, but in the end they each received only $100.”
He did so, the allegation goes, with underage girls. “Emails show FBI investigating Sen. Bob Menendez for sleeping with underage Dominican prostitutes,” the Daily Caller more recently reported.
Menendez’s office has flatly denied the allegations, saying, "Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically-motivated right-wing blog and are false."