California Law Goes Into Effect Excluding Teen Prostitutes From Criminal Prosecution

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A controversial California bill that was signed into law this past September went into effect last week, exempting youth under the age of 18 from facing arrest and criminal charges for being involved in prostitution.

Senate Bill 1322 was introduced last year by Sen. Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, and views teens and pre-teens involved in prostitution as being victims rather than criminals.

“Existing law makes it a crime to solicit or engage in any act of prostitution. Existing law makes it a crime to loiter in any public place with the intent to commit prostitution. This bill would make the above provisions inapplicable to a child under 18 years of age who is alleged to have engaged in conduct that would, if committed by an adult, violate the above provisions,” a summary of the legislation outlines.

Instead of arresting the teenager, the law directs that a police officer “who encounters a minor engaged in a commercial sex act shall report these circumstances as abuse or neglect of a minor to the county child welfare agency.” If the teen is considered to be in proximate danger, the Department of Social Services may place the young person into an environment that is deemed safe in order to get them off the streets.

“A commercially exploited child under this paragraph may be adjudged a dependent child of the court pursuant to … the Welfare and Institutions Code and may be taken into temporary custody … if the conditions allowing temporary custody without warrant are met,” the law reads.

Those who have illicit relations with a child under age 18 who prostitutes themselves will still face criminal penalties.

“The law is supposed to protect vulnerable children from adult abuse, yet we brand kids enmeshed in sex-for-pay with a scarlet ‘P’ and leave them subject to shame and prosecution,” Mitchell stated last year in outlining the purpose for the proposal.

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However, some have expressed concern over the law, including Sen. Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach.

“[T]eenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution,” he wrote in a recent article for the Washington Examiner. “Pimping and pandering will still be against the law whether it involves running adult women or young girls. But legalizing child prostitution will only incentivize the increased exploitation of underage girls.”

But Mitchell, a Planned Parenthood supporter, contended in response that it is “categorically untrue” that her bill legalizes prostitution for minors, nor does it tie the hands of law enforcement. She says that she just doesn’t believe the right way to handle teens involved in prostitution is to put them behind bars or give them a criminal record.

“Being criminalized as opposed to being treated like a victim of rape through arrest, detainment and criminal charges is not how California treats victims of abuse. It would never occur to us to arrest a victim of rape or domestic violence to ‘keep them safe’ from their perpetrator,” Mitchell wrote. “SB 1322 will provide minor victims of human trafficking the same protection [as a rape victim].”

However, some opine that not all youth involved in prostitution are led into it by sex traffickers, as some might sell their bodies for cash of their own will.

“Not all minors involved in prostitution are victims. In fact any minor over age of 16 knows what’s going on and makes a choice to do so,” one opponent, identified only as Tallulah, remarked.

Mitchell says not so—that she views teens as victims in light of California’s age of consent.

“A ‘choice’? Since the legal age of consent remains 18, I disagree with you,” she Tweeted on Saturday.

Allen believes that Mitchell and Democrats mean well, but are misguided on the matter, as well as other issues.

“Do Brown and the Democrat politicians behind this wave of bad legislation mean well? I believe they do, but unfortunately they’re only succeeding in proving that the road to hell is paved with good intentions,” he wrote.


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  • Amos Moses

    pedophilia legalized …….

    • Croquet_Player

      No, it isn’t. It’s allowing exploited minors to go to the police for help without fear of arrest. Sexual activity with a minor is still against the law. And now those who do it will not be able to threaten minors by saying “what I made you do is illegal and you’ll be arrested if you tell anyone.”

      • Amos Moses

        best of intentions ….. but the outcome is the legalization of pedophilia ………

        • Lexical Cannibal

          Incorrect. Minors are no longer criminally charged, but the Johns certainly are. The act is still illegal, it has only recategorized who the criminal is.

          • Amos Moses

            but “Johns” can now say to the children …… “you wont get in trouble, it is legal if YOU do it” …… and so the pattern is set and it IS legalized pedophilia ….. and they will be preyed upon even more so ………….

          • Lexical Cannibal

            That is an outright lie. Laws concerning sex with a minor are unchanged and it does not become legal if the minor initiated in any US state. This is not a free license for minors to prostitute themselves ; any minors caught doing so will still be taken in and given state services, including assistance escaping abusive or coercive pressures that may have forced them into prostitution. Prostituting a child is still illegal, paying for a prostituted child is still illegal, the only thing that has changed is that children will no longer be held as criminals for being abused by adults.

          • Amos Moses

            but the “minor” probably does not know the intricacies of the “law” …… it is defacto legalization of pedophilia …………..

          • Lexical Cannibal

            Now you’re just passing off conjecture as fact. Not holding a n underage prostitute criminally liable is no more “legalizing pedophilia” than not pressing charges on someone who aided a robbery with a gun to their head is “legalizing theft,” de facto or otherwise. A minor need not know the “intricacies” of the law, only that they can go to the police without getting themselves into trouble.

            You’re arguing from a remarkably weak position, almost by choice, it seems. I’ve given you ample opportunity to demonstrate that weakness and you’ve done so quite handily. I think we’re done here.

          • Amos Moses

            half way to legalization ……. and it is completely correct ……. adults can now make the excuse to children to go ahead and do it ……….

        • Croquet_Player

          Minors may not legally give consent to sexual activity with adults. Therefore each case of an adult having sex with a minor is statutory rape. If you don’t see the irony in criminalizing rape victims who wish to go to the police but are afraid of arrest, I really can’t help you.

          • Amos Moses

            apparently the state of California disagrees ………….

          • Croquet_Player

            Sex with minors is illegal in California. It was before this law, it is after this law and it’s going to stay that way.

          • Amos Moses

            if they are not going to prosecutue them …. it is defacto legal for the minor participant …..

          • Croquet_Player

            You seem to think we should convict minors for being the victims of statutory rape. A minor cannot legally consent to sex with an adult. Any and all sexual acts between a minor and an adult are illegal statutory rape. It make no difference if money changes hands or not. The adult is the perpetrator and the minor is the victim. If you are robbed, you have been a involved in a criminal act, but you are the victim, not the perpetrator.

          • Amos Moses

            you seem to think that we do not prosecute prostitution regardless of age …… we do ……. the child is not charged with SR ……. they are charged with prostitution if it is prostitution …… except in Calif. it is now legal ……

          • Croquet_Player

            Again no. The act of prostitution is still illegal. The pimp will be punished. The John will be punished. Just not the child victim. Are you dense or something? Numerous people have attempted to explain this to you with no luck. Clearly you are eager to prosecute child rape victims. Well, we no longer do it in my state of California, because we’re clearly more compassionate and enlightened than you.

          • Amos Moses

            “Again no. The act of prostitution is still illegal. ”

            Again …. learn to read ….. it will not be prosecuted if it is a minor in Calif. …….. so defacto legal for minors ……….. and pedophilia ………..

          • Croquet_Player

            Have you suffered a brain injury? I hope you get well soon.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            What purpose do you think is served by prosecuting minors who have sex with adults?

          • Amos Moses

            ummmmm ….. oh, gee …. to KEEP them from having sex with adults for money …… DUH …

          • Ambulance Chaser

            So tell me, do you ordinarily recommend blaming, arresting, and punishing the victims of crimes, or just this one?

          • Amos Moses

            Californian Senator Richard Pan pushing to outlaw parental rights in all medical decisions

            guess Calif. is not done with their radical restructuring of the “family” ……….. a person in prostitution is not a victim …. they are participants ……

    • Michael C

      pedophilia legalized …….

      How so?

      Please explain. Use your words.

      • Amos Moses

        adults can now say “you wont get in trouble, it is legal if YOU do it” …… and so the pattern is set and it IS legalized pedophilia ….. and they will be preyed upon even more so …………. and their victimization will continue unabated ……….. and the biggest promoter of pedophilia gets what it wants ………

        • Michael C

          Does this law make it legal for an adult to engage in sexual activity with a minor child (legalized pedophilia)?

          • Amos Moses

            it encourages those who want to …….. it is the first step to saying that it is ok for those that do it ……… half way there ……

          • Michael C

            Where in the U.S. are children punished for being molested by an adult?

            Everywhere in the U.S. an adult can tell a child “you won’t get in trouble, it is legal for YOU to do it” because we don’t punish children for being molested in this country.

            If this law amounts to “legalized pedophilia,” then legalized pedophilia has always existed in the U.S. because we’ve never punished children for being molested.

          • Amos Moses

            this is prostitution ….. not molestation ………. you are mixing up your facts …. as usual ………. they have, as children, given “consent” …… it is legalized pedophilia ……. a few states allow children to give “consent” for an abortion and some countries allow children to give “consent” for termination of their lives …… it is really hard when liberal ideas go bad and they have so much difficulty justifying what is being done ………. and thanks to homomarriage ….. you have no leg to stand on …… you broke one rule and you have no one to blame if others do the same …… good job ……………..

          • Ambulance Chaser

            What in the world are you talking about? You started off just plain wrong and then veered off into crazy.

          • Amos Moses

            again …. you have no leg to stand on ………..

          • Michael C

            tation ………. you are mixing up your facts …. as usual ………. they have, as children, given “consent” …… it is legalized pedophilia ……. a fe

            Children cannot give “consent.” Having sex with a minor child is a crime regardless of whether or not money was exchanged or the child was also charged with a crime.

            No amount of ellipses and sentence fragments can bring any sense to your confuzzled argument.

          • Amos Moses

            as i said …. you have no leg to stand on ……….. because now it is not a “crime” for one of the participants ….. waiting for the other shoe to drop …….

          • Michael C

            ……….. because now it is not a “crime” for one of the participants ….. waiting for t

            Children have never been criminalized for having sex with adults anywhere in the United States.

          • Amos Moses

            PROSTITUTION ……….. is ILLEGAL ……….. except the few places where it aint …… and california is now one of them ……………

          • Ambulance Chaser

            No, it’s not. Are you still missing the part where the johns can be arrested? And this law does nothing to change the legal status of adult prostitutes.

          • Amos Moses

            nope ….. you are ignoring the part where a pedophile does not care ……… and now they can use the law to convince …..

          • Ambulance Chaser

            And without the law, the pedophile can say that the underage prostitute has nowhere safe to turn. So where does that leave you?

          • Amos Moses

            you seem to think that we do not prosecute prostitution regardless of age …… we do ………. they are charged with prostitution if it is prostitution …… except in Calif. it is now legal …… and if they are not charged then there is no getting them into a system for help …… where does that leave you? ……………. it is the first step to legalized pedophilia …. it is defacto legalization ………….

    • Neonic

      Well, that IS the goal of the LGBTXYZ movement.

  • Emmanuel

    “they’re only succeeding in proving that the road to hell is paved with good intentions”

    statement of the year, decade, century and maybe of all times.

  • http://HisPlaceDanville.com Stephen Anderson

    Dear Mr. Trump,
    Please extend the Wall northward at the California border and return California to Mexico.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Why?

    • Lisa Dell

      Not all Californians voted for these stupid laws. It is the Democratic politicians.

      • Ambulance Chaser

        Why is this a stupid law? You think victims of sex trafficking should be arrested and charged?

        • Lisa Dell

          No. Victims of sex trafficking should not be arrested. If teens are going to intestinally sell their bodies for money then they should be arrested, or brought to social services department so they can get onto a right path.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            So, then, you’re in favor of this law, you just don’t know it.

          • Lisa Dell

            I am not a lawyer. I just don’t understand the full effects of this yet.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            If you don’t understand the law, then perhaps you shouldn’t have an opinion on it.

            And no, I didn’t flag you and I have no idea why you would think I did.

          • Lisa Dell

            I was flagged down that night. I was asking different people. I went to different channels that night. It wasn’t personal towards you.

        • Lisa Dell

          Californian Democrats have passed a law that allows for teen prostitution. This is what many Californians would not allow.

  • cadcoke5

    By the same philosophy, teen thieves may also be victims of drug dealers, who push the drugs and cause the teens to become addicted.

    The illegality of an act is a strong statement by the government that the act is morally wrong. A 16 year old certainly is old enough to know right from wrong, and can properly be charged with a crime.

    One of the benefits of charging a minor with a crime, is that is give the government power to force treatment that the youth may otherwise not choose to undertake. And while the new law does not inhibit the ability of the government to take them into custody by the child welfare agency, the child welfare agency is sometimes a department that can operate with great power, and in some cases they do great harm by taking kids away from good homes, and placing them into situations where they are in greater danger. And good parents have very little recourse, as they can be “charged” and loose their parental rights without the rights granted to actual criminals.

    • Bob Johnson

      “they do great harm by taking kids away from good homes”

      These kids are already into prostitution. And they are kids, so they can not be tried as adults, meaning that the state can not enforce treatment.

  • NCOriolesFan

    Instead of criticizing the bill what would the GOP do instead to get these kids off the streets?

    • Scott Davenport

      Totally legalize Adult Brothels… 🙂

  • Lisa Dell

    The law that passed for teen prostitution shouldn’t of passed. Children need to be protected from this environment. If a teen ager is intentionally prostitute them selves then they should be arrested. How ever they should also be turned over to social services.

    • Michael C

      If a teen aged is intentionally prostitute them selves then they should be arrested. How ever they should also be turned over to social services.

      Yes. That’s exactly how this law works. The child is removed from the street and placed into a proper care facility if necessary. They’re just not charged with a crime.

      • Lisa Dell

        There are in fact some teenage girls who do prostitute them selves for extra cash. These girls also do not work for someone. Most how ever are forced into it by manipulation threats, and by physical harm.

  • BooBooBaby

    Bet this will get mulniplated!

    • Tangent002

      ‘mulniplated’???

  • JohninRedding

    Boy. The pimps are going to love this. Tell the girls they can’t be criminally prosecuted. How good is that for the pimps to get them involved.

  • Tangent002

    This law allows victims of underage sex trafficking to come forward to police without threat of arrest. This does not at all ‘legitimize’ or ‘legalize’ pedophilia, hebephilia, or ephebephilia.