FBI LED CRACKDOWN ON PROSTITUTION, PIMPING AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA – ATTEMPT TO DO AWAY WITH IMPORTANT DEFENSES
A Bay Area-wide crackdown on Pimping and Pandering, teen prostitution and human trafficking, led by the FBI but involving investigative efforts from the Hayward Police Department, Oakland Police Department and many other agencies was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday.
A 15-year-old girl was arrested in Hayward last week after she solicited an undercover police officer for sex. This arrest was part of a nationwide FBI-led crackdown on child prostitution and led to the arrest of 21 suspected pimps in the Bay Area. Alameda County prosecutors have charged two individuals with Human Trafficking of a Minor for Commercial Sex (California Penal Code section 236.1) as part of the sting operation. The police allege that the biggest concentration of girl victims are ages 14 to 16.
Representatives from the Oakland Police Department are claiming that Oakland is the “hub of the west” for prostitution and human trafficking. Oakland Police Department statistics indicate that human trafficking investigations have skyrocketed from 12 in 2008 to 161 in 2012. However the crackdown traced cases coming from Sonoma County as well as Sacramento and Vallejo.
In response to this crackdown, victim advocates are arguing that juveniles can't consent to sex. This could lay the groundwork for prosecutors to argue that any act of sex between an adult and a minor is forcible and potentially can be deemed either a sex trafficking offense or a forcible sex offense carry as many as 8 years in prison, or more...
We see this as overreaching and a serious mis-interpretation of the law. There are numerous defenses to charges of Solicitation for Prostitution (California Penal Code section 647 (B)(California Penal Code section 647 (B), pimping and pandering (California Penal Code section 266 (h) and (i)) and human trafficking (California Penal Code section 236.1) but assertions such as those made by these victims advocates groups threatened the constitutional rights of every defendant facing these types of charges.
Effective representation by a highly skilled attorney is essential to combat these serious charges. Contact Seth Chazin to discuss your case. Initial consultations are always free.