Washington, DC (July 5, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) said that SB 357, signed into law by CA Gov. Newsom on Friday, will create a haven for predators in California. SB 357 repealed loitering laws for the purpose of prostitution.
“With the passage of SB 357, California will become a haven for sex traffickers and sex buyers. We are disappointed that Gov. Newsom signed this bill into law, as it will severely cripple law enforcement’s ability to arrest and prosecute sex buyers and traffickers,” said Dr. Stephany Powell, vice president and director of law enforcement training and survivor services for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and a former LAPD Vice Sergeant.
“A substantial number of vice investigations into trafficking began by identifying loitering for prostitution or other crimes. Without loitering laws, law enforcement has a much harder time doing its job to prevent crime. Please note a police officer can only arrest on a misdemeanor if they witness it occurring. With loitering no longer a crime, an officer who witnesses cannot investigate, even if the person loitering is suspected of being exploited or underage. The risk for sexual abuse increases significantly when exploiters are allowed to roam marginalized communities without consequences.
“Gov. Newsom is right to have reservations about the bill, as he publicly noted, and we urge him to prioritize monitoring the law’s effects on marginalized communities,” Powell said.
About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.