In a shocking study just released by researchers from the University of San Diego and Point Loma Nazerene University, results estimated there are 8,830 to 11,773 underage and adult sex-trafficking victims in San Diego per year. This number is much higher than originally thought, and victims of sex trafficking come from all races and socioeconomic backgrounds, although 98% are female. It is estimated that $810 million spent on prostitution annually is connected to sex-slavery. However, only 15 to 20% of human trafficking victims in the county come into contact with law enforcement.
Typically, under-aged girls are recruited under the guise of romance by an older male at a public place such as the mall or school. They then get manipulated to work the streets to support their older ‘boyfriends.’ In the internet age, social media such as Facebook is also being used to recruit girls. Children who don’t fit in with their peers, or those who suffer from mental illness are often targeted. Other times, an experienced prostitute posing to be an under-aged girl enrolls in schools to help with recruitment.
In 2012, the District Attorney’s Office prosecuted 48 human trafficking, pimping, and pandering cases of adults and minors. That number has fluctuated the past several years. The same office is also responsible for prosecuting human trafficking-related cases as well as racketeering and gang activity.
California Prostitution Law
Pursuant to the California Penal Code § 647(b), it is illegal for a person to solicit, agree to, or engage in the act of prostitution with another. An individual engages in the act of prostitution when s/he “has sexual intercourse or commits a lewd act with another person in exchange for financial compensation.” A lewd act an be anything from fondling genitals to stripping or performing sex acts for the purposes of sexual arousal or pleasure. Under this statute, both the prostitute and the ‘client’ may be charged, and where appropriate, the ‘pimp,’ may also be charged. It should be noted however, that ‘pimping and pandering’ are tried under California Penal Code § 653.23, which prohibits the more general crime of “supervising or aiding” a prostitute.
A conviction under § 647(b) is a misdemeanor punishable by six months in county jail, the imposition of monetary fines up to $1,000, the potential suspension of your driver’s license, and additional penalties in the event that you are a repeat offender.
Aggressive Prostitution Defense in San Diego.
At the Law Offices of David M. Boertje, we understand the grave consequences of a prostitution conviction or charge. Our office handles all misdemeanor and felony criminal cases, including prostitution. Often, those arrested for prostitution are also victims themselves. We are dedicated to keeping you out of jail and will raise all defenses possible on your behalf. If you have been charged with prostitution, call our San Diego office at (619) 229 1870. You can also reach us at our North County location at (760) 476 0901 or visit us online.