The unfortunate fact remains in the realm of prostitution: Many minors are lured into its terrible grip each year. Many of these minors find themselves being pimped out to buyers through coercion, force and fraud, and so much more. Researchers from the University of San Diego found some astounding statistics regarding child prostitution in recent times: There are 8,830 to 11,773 underage and adult sex-trafficking victims in California every year. 98% of these victims are female.
To obtain this very specific number, the research groups looked at how many people were arrested for very specific crimes. These crimes included kidnapping a young minor for prostitution, pimping a minor, human trafficking, and many more. Through their research, they were able to find that 2,645 facilitators of sex trafficking had been arrested since 2007 alone. This comes out to a very terrifying 406 per year. The cases of child prostitution have gone up over the years, but Deputy District Attorney John Rice concluded that there was no obvious explanation for these cases rising. Many of these cases appear to be linked to gang groups.
What exactly is child prostitution?
Child prostitution is a reality that involves the illegal selling of sexual services from children who are under 18. Many prostitutes who are underage on the streets today are runaways and those who have been coerced by gangs in California, by pimps who are looking for money. Many of the young victims of child prostitution will find that their “employers” are human traffickers who are only interested in keeping most or all of the money that they make from them. This makes it difficult for a child prostitute to “break the cycle” in terms of abuse, and many will befall serious psychological damages.
Punishment For Child Prostitution
Prostitution is usually punished as a misdemeanor in itself. Those who pimp and pander, however, will usually face felonies. Child prostitution is typically charged a lot more harshly because it is looked at in a very serious light. Under California laws, it is a crime for anyone to actually seek the services of a prostitute who is under the age of 18. This is covered under Penal Code 261.9. More and more states are opening their eyes to the real problems regarding underage prostitutes and what they can do about them.
Many laws have been put in place to stop these actions from happening. For instance, if a defendant offers a child a fee in exchange for sexual acts, a felony charge could result. This means that, just from that one wrong move, a defendant may see probation as well as ten years in prison for their crime! Not only that, but a defendant may be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of their lives.
Many pimps in these situations will be charged with “human trafficking,” which is a very serious offense. If a pimp offers to recruit a child into prostitution through fake promises, such as having a relationship with them, they could face additional charges because they were tricked into the service. Coercion and physical force also apply to these situations. In some states, you will find illegal immigrants being defrauded or tricked into the industry, where anything can happen to them.
Have you been charged with crimes regarding child prostitution? These charges could lead to lengthy stays in prison as well as fines and registration on a sex offender list. Call us today so that we can help you with your case. We will view your case realistically and tell you what to expect in your defense.