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Did California Democrats REALLY just legalize child prostitution?

Did California Democrats REALLY just legalize child prostitution?

No, but I can understand why people might think so.

A report in the Washington Examiner featuring a new law about to go into effect in California is causing quite a stir.

Contributor Travis Allen reports that starting Sunday, prostitution by minors will be legal in the Golden State.

SB 1322 bars law enforcement from arresting sex workers who are under the age of 18 for soliciting or engaging in prostitution, or loitering with the intent to do so. So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution.

..Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, a national leader on human trafficking issues, told the media, “It just opens up the door for traffickers to use these kids to commit crimes and exploit them even worse.” Another prosecutor insightfully observed that if traffickers wrote legislation to protect themselves, it would read like SB 1322.

Taking a look at the law in more depth at the background of Senate Bill 1322, it was the product of long-term efforts to stem the problem of human trafficking and child prostitution. A new program developed jointly by several federal agencies, Innocence Lost, trained local officers to recognize the signs of a child prostitute without having to be an expert. In part, the law stems from their experiences.

Starting January 1, it is still illegal for adults to solicit minors for sex and for adults to make those arrangements.

What does this mean for ‘Johns’- the people who solicit sex from minors- and sex traffickers?

Soliciting for sex is still illegal. ‘Johns’ will still face the same legal consequences for illegal prostitution. Sex traffickers and pimps will also be held accountable for their crimes, as the laws have only changed for those who are underage prostitutes.

Furthermore, it allows those under the 18 to be taken into protective services if they are engaging in prostitution. It also permits law enforcement officers to take minors into temporary custody if they are found to be loitering in bust stops or bathrooms, or otherwise engaging in at risk activities.

Governor Jerry Brown approved other measures, in addition to SB 1322, that focused on fighting the scourge of human trafficking.

He also signed bills allowing people to defend themselves against additional criminal charges or records if they were coerced to commit an offense as a human trafficking victim.

Others will raise the age from 13 to 15 that kids can testify outside a courtroom in human trafficking cases, protect victims’ names from disclosure and mandate they have access to county services.

The approach taken by the new law might have merit. For example, an Uber driver recently rescued a 16-year old girl from traffickers because he recognized the signs of prostitution and was able to notify law enforcement. The girl, a runaway, was reunited with her family.

However, there are still plenty of crazy, new laws in California.

Sports fans can no longer root for any California team named “Redskins.” Assembly Bill 30 now bans such “racist and insensitive” mascot terms. …

Senate Bill 880 further tightened gun ownership rights. Now illegal are semi-automatic centerfire rifles that have a protruding pistol grip or a folding or telescoping stock. And don’t you dare loan it to anyone in California; Assembly Bill 1511 will make you an unwilling guest of the Golden State’s prison system.

Assembly Bill 1887 prohibits state agencies from requiring employees to travel to states which have laws permitting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender. State employees who go there on their own hook cannot be reimbursed by the state for travel to such states.

So, while I understand the concern over SB 1322, I suspect it will be one of the better laws passed by our zany legislators in 2016.


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So under this new law the pimps can instruct the underage prostitutes that it is perfectly OK for them to tell “johns” exactly what they will do and for what price and for how long and where and when, etc etc. The johns will know not say anything that might be solicitation and if the girl is a real underage prostitute she will have no problem providing all the detailed solicitation needed.

That way the underage prostitute can’t be arrested, and the “john” did solicit anything. Police officers posing as underage prostitutes will have to do all the soliciting which means the “john” gets off with an entrapment defense.

To arrest a “john” I guess the police will have to wait until the “john” actually has sex with an underage prostitute because it won’t take long at all for the prostitutes and the “johns” to learn how to play the solicitation game.

    redc1c4 in reply to garybritt. | December 30, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    they’ll be able to get the john for child molestation, maybe, but, unless they either observe the transaction, or the prostitute admits to it, prostitution charges will be hard to prove.

    even to get the molestation charges, they’ll have to prove a sexual event occurred, which either means witnessing it, or getting the participants to admit to it. GFL with that: both parties are incentivized to STFU.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to garybritt. | December 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    No, not really. The law regarding such things in CA not only makes the solicitation illegal, but also the agreement to a solicitation illegal. So it does not really matter which party provides the “count and amount” (as the vernacular put it, back in the day).

    In the above scenario, the john is on the hook once activity consistent with agreement takes place.

    Nonetheless, the law is still stupid.

    Ref- Section 647(b) Penal Code. [The parentheses and case are significant should you do a search to verify.]

    Gary, you make a good point on the unintended consequences of this law. While I understand the impulse, I am not sure it was well thought out. Ultimately, the police need all the tools to combat child trafficking.

The benign intent of the law is recognizable, as is a strong potential for perverse results.

This is likely to skew the business of prosecution toward younger and younger children, particularly those too young to testify. Criminal gangs have a thoroughly demonstrated tendency to notice and exploit laws intended to protect children.

I will only believe that California has legalized child prostitution if they also taxed the bejeebers out of it too. After all, they’ve tried their darnedest to run every other form of legal employment out of their state.

Oops, trying again.

Sports fans can no longer root for any California team named “Redskins.” Assembly Bill 30 now bans such “racist and insensitive” mascot terms. …

That’s obviously ridiculous and untrue, and you shouldn’t have fallen for this dishonest description. The new law merely prohibits public schools from using the term Redskins for school or athletic team names, mascots, or nicknames. Teams that are not government entities remain free to use whatever names and nicknames they like, and fans remain free do exactly as they please.

The law also allows public schools that were using the name to keep their old uniforms, equipment, etc, until they have to be replaced anyway, and if the name change ends up costing them anything they’re entitled to compensation.

“Now illegal are semi-automatic centerfire rifles that have a protruding pistol grip or a folding or telescoping stock.”

Racist. It should be “Now undocumented are…”

focused on fighting the scourge of human trafficking.

This is fighting?

Someone may be putting more of a burden on the English language than it can reasonably be expected to bear.

Law and order can be destroyed, and any level of oppression can be introduced, simply by reducing the meanings of the texts to trivia and irrelevance.

perverse incentives will result in perverse outcomes…

always have, always will.

and just because your intentions are good, it doesn’t mean that what you’re doing isn’t stupid. this *IS* #Failifornia, after all, and we’re the poster child for “stupid”.

Even better!
Two underage kids (both 15 years old, say) engage in statutory rape with one another. They each exchange things of value so they can’t be arrested. No statutory rape any more!

Leslie, appreciate that you clarified how this law will work, it is not as bad as it first sounds. But I think it will still have bad consequences.

    I’m just having flashbacks to the left decriminalizing vagrancy, loitering, pan-handling… shutting down mental health institutions, giving the mentally ill the right to refuse treatment, etc (putting many of those people on the street) AND creating the homeless issues we still have today.

I have been unable to find the section of the law that allows for the minors to simply “be taken into protective services.”

The following section sounds more like a bureaucratic nightmare unlikely to ever happen.

“A commercially exploited child under this paragraph may be adjudged a dependent child of the court pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code and may be taken into temporary custody pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 305 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, if the conditions allowing temporary custody without warrant are met.”

But I am neither a cop nor a lawyer so I may be totally wrong.

I’ve seen plenty of people say, just take them in, don’t arrest them. But is that not a violation of all sorts of rights? Can law enforcement in California just pick kids up off the streets because they think they should? Or did they not need a simple misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct to make it legal?

“…loitering in BUST stops.”
Well, hello Sigmund 😉

Social engineering by the government at all levels is not working and never will. Get the government out of our lives. Legalize prostitution, legalize and deregulate drugs at all levels. A trip to Europe will show that society still works when you don’t insist on legalizing morals. On the other hand, we punish the good people as in the hoops that people with pain must jump through in order to get simple pain medications. Enough is enough.

It seems they’ve gained nothing and opened the door for worse behavior. I’m out of my element here, but I believe prosecutors & courts have always the ability to do what this law prescribes.

There isn’t always a bad guy pulling the strings and now any 15-18 year old can start her own “dating” service.

No matter what the forces are on a bad act, every actor has a level of personal accountability in its undertaking. This includes the entire john, pimp and hooker trifecta or the lone she-wolf with a craigslist ad.