Tennessee Code Title 39. Criminal Offenses § 39-13-301

As used in this part, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) “Advertisement” means a notice or an announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event, or publicizing a job vacancy;

(2) “Blackmail” means threatening to expose or reveal the identity of another or any material, document, secret or other information that might subject a person to hatred, contempt, ridicule, loss of employment, social status or economic harm;

(3) “Coercion” means:

(A) Causing or threatening to cause bodily harm to any person, physically restraining or confining any person or threatening to physically restrain or confine any person;

(B) Exposing or threatening to expose any fact or information that, if revealed, would tend to subject a person to criminal or immigration proceedings, hatred, contempt or ridicule;

(C) Destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating or possessing any actual or purported passport or other immigration document, or any other actual or purported government identification document, of any person;  or

(D) Providing a controlled substance, as defined in § 39-17-402 , or a controlled substance analogue, as defined in § 39-17-454 , to a person;

(4) “Commercial sex act” means:

(A) Any sexually explicit conduct for which anything of value is directly or indirectly given, promised to or received by any person, which conduct is induced or obtained by coercion or deception or which conduct is induced or obtained from a person under eighteen (18) years of age;  or

(B) Any sexually explicit conduct that is performed or provided by any person, which conduct is induced or obtained by coercion or deception or which conduct is induced or obtained from a person under eighteen (18) years of age;

(5) “Deception” means:

(A) Creating or confirming another person's impression of an existing fact or past event that is false and that the accused knows or believes to be false;

(B) Maintaining the status or condition of a person arising from a pledge by that person of personal services as security for a debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined, or preventing a person from acquiring information pertinent to the disposition of the debt;  or

(C) Promising benefits or the performance of services that the accused does not intend to deliver or perform or knows will not be delivered or performed.  Evidence of failure to deliver benefits or perform services standing alone shall not be sufficient to authorize a conviction under this part;

(6) “Financial harm” includes extortion as defined by § 39-14-112 , criminal violation of the usury laws as defined by § 47-14-112 or employment contracts that violate the statute of frauds as defined by § 29-2-101(b) ;

(7) “Forced labor or services” means labor or services that are performed or provided by another person and are obtained or maintained through the defendant's:

(A) Causing or threatening to cause serious harm to any person;

(B) Physically restraining or threatening to physically restrain another person;

(C) Abusing or threatening to abuse the law or legal process;

(D) Knowingly destroying, concealing, removing, confiscating or possessing any actual or purported passport or other immigration document, or any other actual or purported government identification document, of another person;

(E) Blackmail;  or

(F) Causing or threatening to cause financial harm to in order to exercise financial control over any person;

(8) “Involuntary servitude” means the condition of a person who is compelled by force, coercion or imprisonment and against the person's will to labor for another, whether paid or not;

(9) “Labor” means work of economic or financial value;

(10) “Maintain” means, in relation to labor or services, to secure continued performance of labor or services, regardless of any initial agreement on the part of the victim to perform such type of service;

(11) “Minor” means an individual who is less than eighteen (18) years of age;

(12) “Obtain” means, in relation to labor or services, to secure performance of labor or services;

(13) “Services” means an ongoing relationship between a person and the defendant in which the person performs activities under the supervision of or for the defendant;

(14) “Sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated:

(A) Sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex;

(B) Bestiality;

(C) Masturbation;

(D) Lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;

(E) Flagellation or torture by or upon a person who is nude;

(F) Condition of being fettered, bound or otherwise physically restrained on the part of a person who is nude;

(G) Physical contact in an act of apparent sexual stimulation or gratification with any person's unclothed genitals, pubic area or buttocks or with a female's nude breasts;

(H) Defecation or urination for the purpose of sexual stimulation of the viewer;  or

(I) Penetration of the vagina or rectum by any object except when done as part of a recognized medical procedure;  and

(15) “Unlawful” means, with respect to removal or confinement, one that is accomplished by force, threat or fraud, or, in the case of a person who is under the age of thirteen (13) or incompetent, accomplished without the consent of a parent, guardian or other person responsible for the general supervision of the minor's or incompetent's welfare.


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