Governor Brown has signed SB 1322 into law, which is a California statute that removes the criminal penalties for any child under 18 who engages in prostitution. The idea is not to label the child as a “prostitute.” It sounds good on paper, but leaves much to be desired in practice. In effect, they have “legalized” child prostitution.
SB 1322: Commercial sex acts: minors.
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. The bill would authorize the minor to be taken into temporary custody under limited circumstances.
” SB 1322 decriminalizes prostitution charges for minors. It requires that law enforcement continue to immediately report allegations of commercial sexual exploitation involving juveniles to agencies charged with protecting and counseling them. Courts would still be responsible for overseeing the care that trafficked youths receive while they remain underage, in the absence of responsible parents or guardians.”
As with all “bleeding heart” liberal attitudes, this one leaves out several important facts of human nature: greed being just one of them. This law places in granite the idea that a child cannot be prosecuted…which opens a giant can of worms. And happy days for the pimps.
“It [SB 1322] just opens up the door for traffickers to use these kids to commit crimes and exploit them even worse.” Alameda County District Attorney, Nancy O’Malley
, Calif Assemblyman for the 72nd District wrote in the Washington Examiner,
Minors involved in prostitution are clearly victims, and allowing our law enforcement officers to pick these minors up and get them away from their pimps and into custody is a dramatically better solution than making it legal for them to sell themselves for sex. That only deepens their victimization and renders law enforcement powerless to stop the cycle of abuse. SB 1322 is not simply misguided — its consequences are immoral.
Unfortunately for Californians, SB 1322 isn’t an outlier — it’s only the tip of the liberal iceberg. 2017 will see the Golden State subjected to wave after wave of laws taking effect that are well-intentioned but disastrous embodiments of progressive utopianism.
The new law states that a police officer may place the child in “temporary custody” only if conditions allowing temporary custody without a warrant are met. The child becomes a “ward of the court” and cannot be prosecuted.
Child trafficking victims require serious commitment. It’s not something that can be called “temporary.” Children who have been exploited are not easily “fixed” by a counseling session or two. They often have deep-seated emotional problems. And they sometimes go back to the street… back to the pimp because they feel a connection to them, even if it endangers their lives.
SB 1322 is poorly written. It may even make things worse. Remember: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”