Calif. Legislators Try Again to Fix Law that Makes Buying Child Sex a Misdemeanor

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(Dmytro “Henry” Aleksandrov, Headline USA) A California bill may make the crime of buying child sex a serious felony, replacing the current statute in the far-left state that treats pedophilia as just a misdemeanor.

A bipartisan bill would raise pedophilia from a misdemeanor to a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 while also requiring a person who was convicted of soliciting a minor to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

The measure introduced by State Senator Shannon Grove, R-Calif., in February 2024 and co-sponsored by two Democrats, is scheduled for a committee vote on Apr. 16, 2024. As of Apr. 11, 2024, the new bill didn’t have the votes to make it out of committee.

To solve this problem, Grove said she is working on negotiating with her colleagues without giving up the most important parts of the bill, the Daily Wire reported.

In 2023, Grove convinced a Democrat-controlled legislature to pass a similar bill that reclassified child sex trafficking from a misdemeanor to a major felony, which established harsher criminal penalties for traffickers. The bill became the law on Jan. 1, 2024.

However, it seems that the only reason why Democrats supported the sex trafficking bill was because they faced backlash on social media after their initial reluctance became public knowledge.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., claimed that he supported last year’s bill, adding that he called Grove to say how “surprised” he was when the bill initially failed to pass the committee vote.

However, it looks like these were the words without any kind of evidence, considering that Newsom previously loosened sex-offender penalties for LGBT pedophiles and that before the successful bill last year, lawmakers had tried at least nine times since 2007 to reclassify child sex trafficking as a more serious crime.

This year, Grove said that the focus will be on the purchasers of child sex because that is what the sex trafficking survivors advised Grove to do if she really wants to crack down on the child sex trade.

Helen Taylor, vice president of impact at Exodus Cry, a nonprofit that works to abolish illegal sex trafficking, urged committee members to vote in favor of the bill on Apr. 16, 2024.

“Our laws send a message about what behaviors we are willing to tolerate. Paying money to abuse a child is something we will not tolerate. It is surely a ‘no brainer’ to make buying a child for sex a felony in California and if not, we have a serious problem,” she said.

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