New law clamps down on pimps trafficking children

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley and state Sen. Sandré Swanson celebrated a legislative and prosecutorial victory Thursday in an ongoing effort to combat what they described as a proliferating crime of human trafficking in children.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB17 into law Oct. 11 with little fanfare amid a flurry of other legislation getting his signature. Though it received little notice, the law could greatly alter the risk calculations of those who pimp and pander children for sex, officials said. The law quadruples fines on those convicted of pimping or pandering to $20,000 per count and, for the first time, allows prosecutors to seize the assets of convicted pimps to pay those fines. The law also stipulates that half of the fines collected would go to community organizations helping child victims of human trafficking.

O’Malley, who built a career around prosecuting sex traffickers and child abusers, said, “The effect of human trafficking on children can be lifelong” and sometimes lead to the loss of life when the relationship between a pimp and his or her young charge is coercive. She called the new law an important deterrent to pimps.

O’Malley and Swanson worked together on previous bills that have changed state statute regarding prostitution involving minors. They have called each piece of legislation a victory. Nonetheless, they said the numbers of children on the street selling sex or following orders of others to sell sex appear to be growing with the recession.

“This is part of a new underground economy, and in some places it is supplanting the drug trade,” Swanson said.

Other officials said it is a very lucrative crime and the risk of trouble from children, who are easy to persuade and cajole, is low.

“For criminal entrepreneurs, there is sadly no better economic return then that of selling a child for sex. It has been said that the sexual exploitation of minors might soon exceed drugs and guns as the largest criminal contribution to GDP,” said Deputy District Attorney Sharmin Eshragi Bock, who heads the human trafficking division at the District Attorney’s Office.

In 2006, O’Malley helped push through a human trafficking statute to the California Penal Code and then formed the Human Exploitation and Trafficking Unit within Alameda County. Since then the unit has brought charges against 163 individuals and convicted 110 of them as pimps. But Bock has complained that state statute on sentences for people convicted of pimping or pandering a youth has been too soft.


Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 8:36 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi my names Angelique I’m only 13 years old,I live in Yakima,Washington and go to Victory Outreach church. I had such a heavy burden for prostitutes!every day I pray for God to protect them wherever they may cross,I cry for them,my heart aches because they hurt!I can’t stand to know that a young girl is lost,and she is going in a car…….an she may not come back!To know that woman an teens everywhere are hurting from doing this causes so much pain in my heart,but children,its like my heart and soul is dyeing!as if stabbed!There must be an end to this!I want to be a missionary and go around the world and witness to these girls!even thou I know I could die but I don’t care,they could kill me!as long as I can make a change in a girls life then it would all be worth it!I’m starting a prayer chain and asking for people to please pray for the twilight treasure(prostitutes) because man may see a prostitute,but God sees a queen!:) Jesus loves you!!

  2. great points altogether, you just received a logo reader. What might you suggest about your post that you made some days in the past? Any sure?

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