California Will Not Make Sex Trafficking of 16-17-Year-Olds a Felony

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California rejected a bill to make it a felony to purchase 16 and 17-year-olds for sex. Instead, it will remain a misdemeanor. Some serve as little as two days in prison.

Sen. Shannon Grove’s bill would make solicitation, attempting to engage or engage in sex with a minor for money, a felony with a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 4 years, a fine not exceeding $25,000, and registration as a sex offender.

The bill would punish all those who solicit from a child, regardless of whether or not the person knew or reasonably should have known that the person solicited was a minor.

According to CBS News,the original bill, authored by Senator Shannon Grove, would make soliciting a minor for sex, agreeing to engage or engaging in any form of commercial sex with a child a felony offense with a sex offender registry required on repeat offenses.

However, Democrats on the public safety committee amended the bill to exempt 16- and 17-year-olds from the penalties and reduce the punishment from two years in prison to up to a year in county jail.

“You have a committee forcing amendments in front of survivors that are advocating for this bill,” Senator Grove said. “I’m incredibly disappointed that not only did my colleagues reject my proposal to make the buying of children for sex a prison felony, but that I was blindsided when they amended my bill without my consent.”

Those against the bill, including Senator Scott Wiener, said they fear it could target the wrong people by punishing young adults in consensual relationships with minors.

Scott Weiner’s on the left.

“This bill goes well beyond human trafficking. I think human trafficking, we should throw the book at them. This bill would sweep in a lot of people who are not trafficking. This bill will send people to state prison, on the sex registry, which is basically in many ways the end of their life,” Sen. Wiener said.


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