Assemblyman’s column on new child-prostitution law faces bipartisan backlash

An Orange County assemblyman is under fire from his right, center and left over a column published last week titled: “California Democrats legalize child prostitution.”

The column set off a war of words over the difference between legalization and decriminalization, with critics panning the column as “misleading,” “irresponsible” and “an unsubstantiated hot take.”

But the column’s author, Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, shot back on Tuesday in an interview with CalWatchdog, saying: “There is no war of words; the Democrats are lying about this.”

War of words

Allen’s critics have argued that California lawmakers (mostly, but not exclusively, Democrats) did not legalize child prostitution. Instead, child prostitution was decriminalized, in that minors could not be arrested and charged with prostitution or for loitering in public with the intent to commit prostitution. 

But Allen told CalWatchdog on Tuesday that decriminalization and legalization are the same thing. And in his column he argued that the new law makes it so that law enforcement can’t “interfere with minors engaging in prostitution.” 

Is there a difference?

At first glance, the difference between decriminalization and legalization may seem like the type of petty detail in a dispute between politicians that would frustrate the average constituent. 

But in practical terms, the difference in this instance is that while minors are immune from charges related to prostitution, customers and pimps are not. It is just as illegal as ever to purchase or sell sex with a minor, a fact noted by both The Sacramento Bee, which called Allen’s column “misleading,” and the conservative website Red State, which wrote Allen’s editorial was “an unsubstantiated hot take.” 

“Pimping is still illegal. Solicitation of sexual acts – whether from a minor or an adult – is still illegal. Statutory rape is still illegal,” Red State wrote. “So how is it that law enforcement can’t interfere?”

“Even so, Mitchell’s bill does allow for law enforcement to ‘interfere’ and for the minor to be adjudicated as dependent and brought into state custody,” Red State added.

Allen argued to CalWatchdog that under the new law, custody is only temporary. Allen added that legalization (or decriminalization) of child prostitution removed a tool for prosecutors, as the charges against minors were often pleaded down or dropped in exchange for testimony against pimps and others involved in the crime.

What’s the point?

In late September, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 1322, which made it no longer a crime for minors to engage in prostitution. The point was to treat minors engaged in prostitution as victims of crimes instead of criminals. 

The line of logic used by the bill’s sponsor, Senator Holly Mitchell, in a recent interview with KCRA, was that children under the age of 18 cannot legally consent to sex and therefore it’s rape. The Los Angeles Democrat also called Allen’s column “irresponsible.”

“You cannot consent to any kind of sexual experience if you’re under 18,” Mitchell said. “And so how then therefore could you be convicted of prostitution?” 

So what’s your solution?

When asked what more should be done to combat child prostitution, Allen said SB1322 was a step backwards. When asked again –  what specifically could be done to reduce child prostitution – Allen told CalWatchdog, “There’s always more that could be done,” and then repeated SB1322 was not the solution.

Whose law is it?

The Bee debunked claims made by Allen about certain opponents of the measure, as well as the claim that the law was “passed by the progressive Democrats,” when in fact moderate Democrats and a few Republicans supported the measure as well (though it was just a few Republicans).

“He includes a quote from Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley stating that decriminalizing child prostitution ‘opens up the door for traffickers to use these kids to commit crimes and exploit them even worse,'” The Bee wrote. “O’Malley initially opposed the bill, but ultimately signed on as one of the its highest-profile supporters.”


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  1. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 4 January, 2017, 07:22

    Remember these are the same scondrels who want us all disarmed and want our borders opened with mexico Moonbeam Brown is the worst govenor california’s ever had he beling in prison along with others of his corupt party

    Reply this comment
  2. lb1
    lb1 4 January, 2017, 09:35

    I have come to the conclusion that these Liberals/ Democrats / Progressives / Idiots/ Morons are from some other damn planet, and the people of that planet got so fed up with their stupidity that they brought them here and dumped them on us. No one in their right damn mind could conjure up some dumb shit like this.

    Reply this comment
  3. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 4 January, 2017, 13:40

    They need to totaly clean out the house in sacramento the mess is going to take aroom full of rug doctors

    Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 4 January, 2017, 17:56


    Liberals believe morality kinkee stuff is victimless crime. Next up pedofiles have their way……..with seven year olds, etc etc….gender be darned.

    Reply this comment
  5. Mike
    Mike 4 January, 2017, 18:11

    Is anyone surprised that big fans of youth polo Mark Leno and Ricardo Lara voted for this? Give me a P, give me a E,V, E,,R,T,S.. Next, they will support water polo be played in the nude. Leno has the underwater Gopro, Lara has a ruler.

    Reply this comment
  6. lb1
    lb1 4 January, 2017, 19:38

    These freaks have a bill that is being proposed in California that will make it illegal for parents to make medical decisions for their own children.

    The new SB-18 bill will allow the State to seize children away from their parents and their homes if parents make medical decisions that the State deems not to be in the child’s best interests.

    Dr. Richard Pan, the man behind the current mandatory vaccination law (SB-277) is behind this new bill which will takes away yet more power from parents.

    On May 9, 2016 Senator Pan’s office was visited by the filmmakers of the movie “VaxXed”. Then Pan Ran! Camera and editing by Francesca Alesse and Joshua Colema.
    Everyone needs to see this film.

    These elected fools are out of control.

    Reply this comment
  7. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 5 January, 2017, 07:51

    lb1 Thats just what the nazis and communists would do remove a child from their parents and raise them at a special type of school run and operated by the leftists NEA so they will be obediant little thrals to Big Brother

    Reply this comment
    • lb1
      lb1 5 January, 2017, 08:21

      That is exactly what is happening in schools here now. Those are not teachers, they are change agents, brain washers. School is no more than a government run training center.

      Reply this comment
  8. Queeg
    Queeg 5 January, 2017, 11:15


    You should worry!

    They are spraying corrosives on your residences’ guarded gates!

    And once they have the young your toast!

    Reply this comment
  9. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 5 January, 2017, 16:45

    When i went to school they were not teaching the kids that their parents were cuasing Global Warming all becuase their parents are not riding bicycles to work or going vegan their no longer schools anymore their indoctrination centers for Big Brother

    Reply this comment

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