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SR 1424 – California Decriminalizes Child Prostitution
Good evening, I’m still reporting on child prostitution in the U.S.
California lawmakers have now decriminalized what is commonly called child prostitution. For all practical purposes, as of 4 days ago – January 1st – children will not be arrested for soliciting themselves out for sex in California!
Believe it or not, in the past, over 1,000 children a year are arrested in the United States for prostitution, however the numbers of juveniles involved have been estimated at 1-2 million.
Concerned Women for America reports:
“The United States Department of Justice uses the number 293,000 as the estimate for youth ‘at risk’ of being commercially sexually exploited.”
According to one of the few remaining Republican legislators in the California state legislature, Travis Allen:
“Beginning on Jan. 1, prostitution by minors will be legal in California. Yes, you read that right.
“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.”
According to the Sacramento Bee:
“Under the law, officers who encounter minors [selling themselves for sex] must report the circumstances to the county child welfare agency as abuse or neglect.”
According to the new law, signed on Sept. 26, 2016, child prostitutes can only be taken into temporary custody if the child needs immediate medical care or there is an immediate threat to the child’s health or safety.
Confusingly, statutory rape laws making sex with minors a felony are still in effect. This behavior is still a criminal offense for the child, the Johns, and the pimps.
However, the practical effect is that the hands of law enforcement are now tied. Unless cops want to risk inevitable improper arrest lawsuits, most will steer away from taking young girls off the streets.
The winners are the pimps who victimize these children. The children who – for one reason or another – fall prey to sex trafficking, have no other way to make a living, other then the pimps. This law empowers the pimps like never before.
That means that making cases against pimps will be much harder for law enforcement. Why? Because prosecution of pimps depends heavily on the testimony of these children against the pimps upon whom the children rely for the basics of life.
The California District Attorneys Association agrees. They opposed the law, saying that it could:
“… undermine law enforcement’s ability to address those exploiting such minors.”
California could have chosen more reasonable alternatives. For example, according to a report by Concerned Women for America:
“Massachusetts has the best model for legislation in HB 3808, signed into law in November 2011.”
“In Massachusetts, the law diverts minors found in prostitution into services and treatment but keeps the charges pending against them in place until they successfully complete the rehabilitation programs after which the charges are dropped.”
According to Tammy Bruce, writing in The Washington Times Washington Times, Jan. 4, 2017 :
“If you’re serious about saving children, you don’t limit what law enforcement can do, you expand their options while making sure children are treated as victims, while using the justice system as a way to remove them from their enslavement.”
“Instead, the liberals who run California have just done the opposite, guaranteeing lives ruined while allowing an evil problem to continue virtually unchecked.”
You may have noticed that I’m starting to use links now. This is necessary to prevent assertions by the fake news police on contentious issues such as this. It takes extra time, so we won’t do it unless the issue is very contentious – as this one is.
For example, the left has exploded in support of the law. Politifact seized on one sentence of the op-ed written by Assemblyman Travis Allen in the Washington Examiner and branded it as a “Pants on Fire” lie.
“The statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.”
Allen’s statement in question was this:
“Beginning on Jan. 1, prostitution by minors will be legal in California.”
Well if cops can no longer arrest minors for suspected prostitution, what would you call it?
The new law essentially guts the existing statutory rape laws, but since they are – in effect – rendered all but useless, lefties can make this thin case that someone could – under some circumstance – technically still be prosecuted.
But is it a pants-on-fire lie?
Hardly. In fact, the pants-on-fire assertion by so-called Politifact is far more akin to “fake news” than Assemblyman Allen’s op-ed.
I’m still reporting from Washington. Good day.