CA: Purchasing a child for sex is a misdemeanor in California, lawmakers to debate classifying it as a felony

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Source: kcra.com 4/13/24

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —California lawmakers next week are set to debate a proposal that would ramp up the consequences for consumers of the child sex trafficking industry.

Under California law, purchasing or soliciting a child for sex is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail, or a minimum of two days in jail, and a $10,000 fine. Republican State Sen. Shannon Grove is trying to change that with SB 1414, which would classify the crime as a felony, carrying a maximum penalty of up to four years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

“A lot of the survivors of lived experience have said you’ve gotta go after the buyer, it’s just a misdemeanor and I said there is no way,” Grove told KCRA 3. “I thought they were mistaken.”

The bill would also remove the requirement in state law that those convicted of soliciting a minor knew or should have known that person was a minor. Grove is also proposing to require those buyers to register as sex offenders for ten years.

Similar proposals have been failing at the state capitol since 2014, according to an analysis of the legislation. The bill will have its first hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

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Sooooo I’m curious…..what happens when half of the country is on the registry? Considering adults only, that would be about 60-70 million people. We currently have over a million members. We are on our way to discovering how “normal” sexuality is amongst humans. I’m not talking about sex with kids (under 16). Puritanical BS. At what point do we become a “voting” force to reckon with?

So young people lie about their age yet the older person pays the price? If soliciting just means asking, this should not be a felony. Absolutely vindictive legislation efforts. I still believe treatment without stigma is the only way to address societal problems. And it should be available as such pre-crime and post-crime, with pre-crime being the ideal.

I don’t understand this at all. Possession of CP, not involving any contact or solicitation, has heavy prison sentences in many states and is an automatic felony with lifetime registry in IL. I cannot imagine how this law is on the books this way, or maybe I’m just missing something here.

California [People Forced to Register] who are able to show up, speak up, and stand up against Grove and her ilk back to the mangroves on Tuesday. Is this proposal out of “speculation” due to Grove and her ilk having nothing better to improve the lives of Californians? Enough of going after the low hanging fruit of society just because you can get away with it. Two wrongs don’t make it right and are truly evil, yet lawmakers’ heads are too busy deep in speculation and their ” expertise” regarding crime and human sexuality.

If a person buys an escort or a prostitute, there’s no way of actually knowing how old this person really is and I’m pretty sure she’s not going disclose her real name and age.

To be honest, only a misdemeanor for purchasing a child for sex kind of raised my eyebrows 🤨
That’s an awfully low penalty. Even in PA, soliciting a minor is a felony that carries a minimum 21 month penalty which increases depending on the age of the child. So just imagine what the penalty is in Mississippi. I’m not saying that California should follow this crazy woman’s lead and legislate her proposal into law. I’m sure she has little bark in California politics, and she’s likely just a Q-Anon politician living in some two bit California valley town. But Golden State registrants might want to reflect on how lucky they are not to have been convicted in fly over country.

From Wikipedia: Ca. Senate Minority Leader Shannon Grove led the 11-member Republican caucus in the California State Senate, where the Democrats enjoy a supermajority. Republican dissatisfaction with Grove’s leadership increased after the caucus lost two seats in the November 2020 elections. After the 1/6 attacks in D.C. in 2021, Grove incorrectly blamed the attack on antifa; this triggered a caucus revolt that ousted her as leader in favor of the somewhat more moderate Scott Wilk.  According to Politico, several Republican state senators had long felt chagrin with Grove’s unabashed support of Trump, which they felt had become “a significant liability.”

Please someone help me make this make sense.
Proposition a child for sex = <1 year /10,000
Look at CP = 4+ years/lifetime registration
proposed change to law
Proposition a child for sex = <4 years/10 year registration.

I thought the act of raping a child created life time suffering. I still cannot understand how a stranger looking at a picture and you have no idea the stranger looked at the picture somehow harms you, but either way how is it that trying to (maybe succeeding) have sex with a child is less harmful than a person looking at a photo.

I don’t exactly see what elevating this to a felony accomplishes. Maybe someone can explain. If you have sex with a child is it not a felony regardless of the circumstances, whether you purchased the services or not? So in the case someone purchased such services and did the action they would be charged with both felony underage sex and misdemeanor purchasing at the same time usually with a plea bargain where because it is a sex crime you plead guilty to the felony with the misdemeanor being dropped. Make them both felonies and one is like to be dropped with the other sticking as well so the outcome will be the same. There might be a few exceptions where changing this to a felony might matter but it’s would be so rare it hardly matters. It seems to me it seems like this does nothing but give political bragging rights to the politicians who came up with it.

Wow! So having a picture is a felony , but the physical act of purchasing another human being ( a minor ) for the explicit purpose of committing rape (by definition) is a misdemeanor ? And they need to debate this? And we wonder why the entire system is a mess………🤔

Are Registrants considered “survivors of lived experience”? 🤔
After all the crap we’re forced to endure, I certainly think we are “survivors of lived experience.” 😠

While this action is offensive, it fails to rise to the level of a sex offense. That would make every person who kidnapped a person guilty of a sex offense, which they aren’t. Is a person that purchases a firearm automatically going labeled a bank robber? My point is that until an overt sexual act has been even attempted, then it is simply speculation what the person’s actual intentions were. If I again was going to rob a bank, but stopped at the door and changed my mind, am I still a bank robber? According to this bill I am.
The act of purchasing should indeed be a felony, but that is as far as this should be considered. No registration.

My opinion

Should minors come with a warning, ” This person may seem younger than they appear, so proceed with caution.” ? Which is more dangerous playing doctor, taking pics/videos, and other ways to explore ones sexuality compared to a minor operating a water craft or car while taking risks and making errors in judgement due to lack of experience?

Is this really a problem that really needs to be addressed? No, of course not. It’s just what I call “filler content” for a slow legislation session. Much in the same way the news makes headlines with the weather on a slow news day.

So, CA wants to “remove the requirement in state law that those convicted of soliciting a minor knew or should have known that person was a minor?” Clearly, the Legislature knows that minors are more than capable of lying about their age, which is why the requirement was there in the first place. Furthermore, the Legislature is also aware that there are many minors who genuinely look and act like an adult, making it even more difficult to know for certain that you’re being lied to. This is why the wording was included in the first place. I also can’t help but notice how the story is written implies that sex with a minor is only a misdemeanor. The only time that sex with a minor is a misdemeanor is when there are only a few years in age difference between the parties involved AND the district attorney decides to charge it as a misdemeanor. In all other cases, sex between an adult and a minor is a felony, regardless as to whether there is an exchange of money. I sincerely hope that people start looking beyond the headlines and question what they’re being told.