California Senate Bill 1322 authored by California State Senator Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, would decriminalize prostitution for minors in California. 
A person under the age of 18 years of age in California is defined as a minor and, therefore, cannot legally consent to sexual intercourse.  Any person who engages in sex with a minor victim, (knowingly or not) has committed statutory rape. 
However, current prostitution California law it allows for the criminalization of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) victims by charging them with prostitution charges while being victimized! 
Rightfully so, supporters of SB1322 contend that many children caught or arrested for selling sex are themselves the victim of human traffickers and that prosecuting them for prostitution is not the appropriate or ethical response.

Under current law, which this bill proposes to change, a victim who is under 18 years old can be detained in juvenile hall and prosecuted for prostitution.  It is believed that this is not an effective or ethical response to this growing epidemic.  Unfortunately, Senate Bill 1322, which passed the senate in June 2016, faces a much tougher vote in the more conservative California State Assembly. 
Under Senate Bill 1322, misdemeanor laws involving solicitation of prostitution and loitering with the intent to commit prostitution would not apply to a child under 18 years old.  If it is determined that the person soliciting prostitution is under the age of 18, law enforcement, as mandated reporters, shall immediately report any allegation of commercial sexual exploitation to the county child welfare department.  It is not known whether that mandated reporting status applies to doctors and educators in schools?
Unfortunately, minors who are under the age of 18 who are accused or charged with prostitution offenses are victims in more ways than one.  California, therefore, has a responsibility as one of the three major human trafficking hubs in the United States to make certain that we do all that we can do to protect and provide services to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). 
These accused victims should not be criminalized and further stigmatized for acts they were forced to commit.  Unfortunately, the powerful District Attorneys Association and most law enforcement agencies are resistant to this change claiming that SB 1322 would make it much more difficult to prosecute pimps.  This seems to be inexcusable at a time when district attorneys talk about victim’s right from one side of their mouth and prosecute them from the other–lip service.  

Since 1992 our law firm, Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC, has represented hundreds of sexually exploited victims who ended up being arrested, prosecuted, criminalized and forever stigmatized!  This outdated and unenlightened approach causes the victim to sustain a criminal record which prevents them from gaining meaningful employment.  Without a way to support themselves the re-victimized victim may have no choice but to re-enter the world of prostitution.
Our very experienced and highly skilled attorneys mount an incredibly zealous defense to force the district attorney to come to grips with reality and to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt so that we can win an acquittal for prostitution or solicitation offenses.  Recently we have been successful in getting sympathetic prosecutors to provide our victim and/ or under aged clients into a diversion program which has the same effect as an acquittal or expungement.  
Here is a partial list of social service agencies and centers  that not only support this enlightened Senate Bill 1322, but are helping victims regain their lives:
These include, the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, the Alliance for Children’s Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, Bay Area Youth Center, California Alliance of Child and Family Services, County Welfare Directors Association of California, Children’s Law Center, Courage campaign, and various county welfare associations throughout California. These are just a few of the organizations who have been supportive of the change in the law. 

Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC is on the cutting edge of mounting the most successful defenses and mitigating circumstances to successfully defend and gain acquittals for our clients charged with solicitation, lewd conduct and or prostitution.  
Please feel free to contact us at any one of our two convenient locations: In Santa Rosa, Sonoma County at (707) 571-8600 and our second office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507.  If the offices are closed after business hours, please feel free to leave a message with one of our operators 24/7 and they will connect you to one of our attorneys on the spot.  
“The Right Attorney Makes all the Difference.”
Please CLICK HERE to view our dedicated webpage specific to Prostitution charges in the North Bay. 

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