Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) announced her bill, Senate Bill 14, to once again make sex trafficking a felony, was signed into law by Governor Newsom Monday. One would assume this was a slam dunk, but this was no easy bill for Sen. Grove to get through the Democrat Legislature.
What should have been an easy vote for the safety and security of children should not have taken public outrage for passage. When and how did California’s Democrat lawmakers become so indifferent and callous to the people?
The uproar over Democrats killing a bill to combat child sex trafficking (again) as a serious felony was felt across the entire state. Law enforcement, parents, educators, talk show hosts, were livid.
As Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) said in July in an op ed, “the grim reality is that California is one of the largest sites of human trafficking in the United States.”
SB 14 would include sex trafficking of minors in the list of crimes that are defined as serious felonies, making the crime a strike under California’s Three Strikes law. It has been more than a decade since the California Legislature passed a bill to expand the state’s Three Strikes law.
“The signing of Senate Bill 14 is a huge victory for California’s children and the survivors of sex trafficking who have long fought for justice,” Senator Shannon Grove said Monday. “With the passage of this bill, we are sending a clear message to child traffickers— we intend to put you out of business and behind bars where you belong.”
It is very important to remember SB 14 was blocked in the Assembly Public Safety Committee by Democrats in July, after passing unanimously in the Senate. Eventually two days later, the committee was pressured by the public and lawmakers to reconsider their vote, and passed SB 14.
Governor Gavin Newsom made another calculated campaign decision to help get SB 14 passed, as he is the Presidential candidate in waiting. The media rewarded him with presidential campaign-worthy headlines.
Here is how the Associated Press reported this:
“California Gov. Gavin Newsom steps in to help revive a stalled bill on child trafficking.”
Remember, Gov. Gavin Newsom who signed SB 14, also signed Sen. Scott Wiener’s Senate Bill 145 in 2020, which lowers the penalties for adults who have sex with same-sex minors. Think about that – Gov. Newsom signed a bill to protect sex offenders who have homosexual sex with minors. The bill allows a 24 year old to have sex with a 14 year old and escape a felony conviction and requirement to be a registered sex offender.
Couldn’t that be considered a form of sex trafficking?
“I am grateful for the incredible support from the human trafficking survivors who have bravely shared their story with the hope of making this change, the 64 legislative co-authors of SB 14, and the Governor for signing this important bill. Most of all, I want to thank the thousands of Californians who called or visited legislative offices, signed petitions, and spoke out on social media. We are here today because of the overwhelming public outrage that propelled this bill through the legislature and ultimately helped protect our children from predators.”
Democrats have killed numerous bills to correct this since Proposition 57, passed in 2016 by voters, reclassified many serious heinous crimes as “non-serious.”
As Senator Grove reported, “California consistently ranks number one in the nation in the number of human trafficking cases reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. The California Attorney General notes that California is one of the largest sites for human trafficking in the United States, recognizes the serious nature of this crime, and has defined it as “modern day slavery.” “Human trafficking is among the world’s fastest growing criminal enterprises and is estimated to be a $150 billion-a-year global industry. It is a form of modern day slavery that profits from the exploitation of our most vulnerable populations.”
Grove said SB 14 will provide serious consequences for those who sexually exploit and abuse children.
“This law is going to give a greater voice to the multitudes of victims who have suffered from this vicious, humanity-denying crime,” said Ashlie Bryant, CEO 3Strands Global Foundation. “As the Sponsor of SB 14, we are thankful for Senator Grove’s leadership and tenacity ensuring that this legislation crosses the finish line. This law will protect victims, strengthen prevention, and increase the prosecution of those who repeatedly buy and sell children.”
The Globe is pleased that Gov. Newsom is willing to right this wrong. He is doing the right thing, but for all of the wrong reasons. What about the minor children “consenting” to non-forcible sodomy, oral copulation, and sexual penetration with adult men?
Politics takes precedence over principle.
SB 14 goes into effect January 1, 2024.
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