California Democrats have propelled a new controversial law forward that will label minors involved in child prostitution as victims, and not criminals. While on the surface to some this sounds like a win, other critics and legislators are pointing out that in theory the law legalizes child prostitution.
Governor Jerry Brown has passed the law titled as SB 1322, which was scripted by Democratic Senator Holly Mitchell. It will take effect tomorrow on Jan. 1, 2017. The main objective of SB 1332 is to restrict law enforcement from charging minors under the age of 18 with prostitution.
However, critics of the law are pointing out the flaws in the law. Republican Assemblyman Travis Allen claims in an op-ed there will be “unintended but predictable consequences of how the real villains — pimps and other traffickers in human misery — will respond to this new law.” He says that while “pimping and pandering will still be against the law,” SB 1332 “will only incentivize the increased exploitation of underage girls.”
In one op-ed by the Washington Examiner, they interpret the new law as such:
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.
In retrospect, SB 1322 bars police officers from charging minors with prostitution, but sex traffickers will still be held accountable. The objective by Mitchell is 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. This is our opportunity to do what we say is right in cases of sex trafficking: stop the exploiters and help the exploited.”
Even on social media sites like Twitter, opinion is divisive if the law is beneficial to the cause of stopping child prostitution or if it will only make things worse. Reactions can be read below:
— American Patriot (@theoptionoracle) December 30, 2016
So #CaliforniaDemocrats is trending because conservatives would rather treat child prostitutes as criminals rather than victims. Sick people
— J-San (@lawdood) December 30, 2016
Glad I switched parties when I did.
The Democratic party is an embarrassment.
Disgusting, moral-less, cry babies.#CaliforniaDemocrats
— Josh (@JoshNoneYaBiz) December 30, 2016
California Democrats recognize children forced into prostitution are not criminals, but victims. Go after pimps & john’s, NOT kids.
— The Anti-Trump (@IMPL0RABLE) December 30, 2016
I am a former child abuse prosecutor! California democrats just decriminalized being a victim of child sex traffickers! Kudos!
— Sara Spector (@Miriam2626) December 30, 2016
I am so completely disgusted. We should be working to PROTECT children, not legalize child prostitution. #CaliforniaDemocrats
— Scott Presler VA (@ScottPresler) December 30, 2016
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