California Assembly Rejects Legislation To Make Child Prostitution A Felony

blueapples's Photo
by blueapples
Wednesday, Apr 17, 2024 - 18:23

blueapples on X

The pervasive progressive agenda that has become the ideological compass driving policymaking in California has turned what was once romanticized as the Golden State into something more synonymous with a degenerate cesspool. While proponents of that progressive agenda would be quick to chastise anyone making that criticism as some sort of alt-right extremist by branding them as a transphobe, xenophobe, or whatever empty insult best fits the context of the argument, the most recent action from the California Assembly makes it difficult to argue with any repudiation of what the state deems political correct. The latest instance of this slow but steady moral decline was evidenced by the California Assembly Public Safety Committee rejecting provisions in a bill that would have made solicitation of prostitution of a minor a felony.

Republican State Senator Shannon Grove authored Senate Bill 1414 in an effort to amend sections 290 and 647 of the California Penal Code to facilitate escalating the crime of soliciting prostitution of a minor from a mere misdemeanor to a felony. Presently, the misdemeanor charge carries a penalty of a minimum of 2 days in county jail with any further sentenced not to exceed 1 year and/or a fine of $10,000. Under Grove's proposal, the offense would be punishable by imprisonment in state prison for 2 to 4 years and a fine of up to $25,000. Grove was joined by democratic State Senators Anna Caballero and Susan Rubio in authoring the bill.

Grove spoke to the impetus behind the bill, saying:

“SB 1414 states that any individual who solicits, agrees to engage in, or engages in any act of commercial sex with a minor will face felony charges. If passed, this law will hold these offenders accountable under strict liability (meaning buyers can’t just claim they thought the child was of age) and they will face imprisonment in the state prison, along with fines up to $25,000 and mandatory registration as a sex offender. We must continue to shed light on the darkness of human trafficking, bring justice and protection to those who are most vulnerable. We are sending a clear message with SB 1414– Not one more child should have to suffer at the hands of those who seek to exploit and harm them.”

Despite the obvious moral imperative to advance the bill, SB 1414 was only able to pass the California Assembly Public Safety Committee after the addition of an amendment which all but nullified its raison d'etre. Members of the committee made changes to the proposed bill which nullified the increased felony charges to anyone arrested for solicitation of prostitution of a minor in the event the child purchased for sex is 16 years old or older. The amendment was to Grove's dismay as she said “That’s garbage — garbage. I don’t know what to say,” Grove said after the bill passed with the amendments, she rejected. “I may pull my name off the bill. It’s not my bill. They hijacked my bill, and they turned it into something that was palatable to them.” following the revised bill's passage by the committee after hearing.

SB 1414 isn't the first time Grove has exposed the California Assembly Public Safety Committee for its lax policy making when it comes to protect minors from sex crimes. Last year, Grove authored SB 14 which sought to make child sex trafficking a felony once again in the state. The law designated human trafficking of a minor for purposes of a commercial sex act as a felony that would qualify under the state's “Three Strikes” law.  Despite passing the Senate unanimously, the same committee blocked its passage. Outrage following the committee shooting down SB 14 prompted a re-vote on the bill which ultimately passed it leading to Governor Gavin Newsom finally signing it into law in September 2023.

While California's politicians approach bills like Grove's aimed at protecting children from being victims of sex crimes with resistance, they shamelessly embrace others that put children in danger. This is best exemplified by Senate Bill 145 which passed in 2020. The bill amended existing state laws to allow judges to decide whether an adult convicted of having sex with a minor should register as a sex offender in cases in which the minor is 14 years or older and the adult is not more than 10 years older than the minor.

That bill was authored by State Senator Scott Wiener under the guise that existing laws somehow discriminated against California's LGBTQ population. Before the bill was signed into law by Newsom adults who were convicted of having sex with a minor were automatically added to the state’s sex offender registry. Wiener's legislation eliminated automatic sex offender registration in those cases, instead giving deference to judges on whether or not to require convicts register as sex offenders.

The juxtaposition of Californian politicians' leniency toward child sex criminals compared to their concerted effort to undermine bills brought by the likes of Grove to protect children highlights the utter abandonment of any moral compass driving the state's policy making. With this wanton disregard for fighting sex crimes against children, it's no wonder that California remains one of the states with the most cases of child trafficking in the country.

Contributor posts published on Zero Hedge do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Zero Hedge, and are not selected, edited or screened by Zero Hedge editors.