Home » Democrats Modify Bill Aimed to Make Purchasing Child Sex a Felony

Democrats Modify Bill Aimed to Make Purchasing Child Sex a Felony

by CC News
Human Trafficking

A bill (SB 1414) aimed at making the purchase of a child for sex a felony in the state moved forward, but not without amendments.

Under SB 1414, anyone soliciting sex with a minor would become a felony, 4-years in prison with a $25k fine and buyer would register as a sex offender. However, it’s déjà vu all over again (see SB 14 below) for Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield)  where democrats have once again hijacked one of her bills and watered it down by modifying the punishments. Ironically, SB 1414 was jointly authored by Democrat Senators Anna Caballero (D-Merced) and Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park).

Under the Senate Public Safety Committee, Senators Aisha Wahab (D-Silicon Valley), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), they made amendments that include:

  • Only applies to 15 and under
  • Law applies to people over 18.
  • Sex register for adults only

Grove rejected the amendments highlighting the amendments essentially said 16-year-old and 17-year-olds did not matter. She said this was not about human trafficking but rather someone going down the street and offering a child $50 for a sex act.

The committee did approve the bill in a 4-0 vote with the amendments. The bill now will head to the senate appropriations committee.

After the committee vote, Grove issues the following statement:

“Today, the Senate Public Safety Committee refused to pass my bill to send child sex buyers to prison. Instead of making the buying of kids a felony with prison time, the committee forced me to take amendments I didn’t agree with and watered down my bill to allow a fine or minimum county jail time.

I’d like to thank Senator Steven Bradford and Senator Kelly Seyarto for their incredible support today.

I will be discussing our next steps with our coalition of survivors, advocates, and organizations who are deeply invested in the outcome of this bill. #notonemorechild #sb1414

Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher (Yuba City) blasted the modified bill.

“This is just sick. There is no possible justification for purchasing a child for sex. Anyone who does it should go to prison for a long time. Democrats on the Public Safety Committee basically said it’s no big deal to participate in the trafficking of a 16 year old. Just sick,” said Gallagher in a social media post.

Child Sex Trafficking

Proposed Amendments to SB 1414

More on SB 1414: Human Trafficking is Modern Slavery

California consistently ranks as the state with the highest number of reported human trafficking cases in the nation. Recognizing the gravity of this issue, the California Attorney General has labeled human trafficking as “modern day slavery.” This illicit industry generates an estimated $150 billion per year globally, victimizing the most vulnerable among us.

Children, tragically, are a large portion of sex trafficking victims in the United States and are undoubtedly one of the most vulnerable populations. Many victims are coerced into this dark underworld during their formative years, growing up in an abusive system that robs them of their innocence. It is crucial to acknowledge that those who purchase sex from children are equally accountable for perpetuating this cycle of exploitation.

Under the existing law, solicitation, attempting to engage or engaging in sex with a minor for money is classified as a misdemeanor offense. However, there are exceptions that impose more severe punishments but often require specific circumstances, such as the age of the minor or the involvement of force. Unfortunately, these conditions create loopholes that allow offenders to avoid stricter penalties and undermine efforts to protect juvenile sex trafficking victims aged between 14 and 17.

To rectify this significant gap in the law, SB 1414 will fight to ensure not one more child is sold for sex in California. The proposed legislation states that any individual who solicits, agrees to engage in, or engages in commercial sex with a minor, regardless of their knowledge or reasonable suspicion of the minor’s age, will now be charged with a felony. This offense will carry a prison sentence ranging from 2 to 4 years, a fine not exceeding $25,000, and registration as a sex offender.


Original Release:

Similar Process Last year with SB 14

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1 comment

Mike Honcho April 17, 2024 - 7:13 am

Of course they want it modified. They don’t want to imprison themselves.

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