Home>Articles>California’s Senate Democrats Reject Bill to Make Purchasing a Child for Sex a Felony

Senator Shannon Grove announcing SB 1414 on 2/29/2024. (Photo: https://sr12.senate.ca.gov/)

California’s Senate Democrats Reject Bill to Make Purchasing a Child for Sex a Felony

Democrats rejected Grove’s proposal to make the buying of children for sex a prison felony, and blindsided her and hijacked her bill when they forced hostile amendments

By Katy Grimes, April 16, 2024 6:32 pm

You read that headline right.

California State Senator Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) authored Senate Bill 1414a bipartisan measure to strengthen protections for minor victims by making the act of soliciting, agreeing to engage in or engaging in any form of commercial sex with a child a felony offense, with sex offender registry required on repeat offenses.

Notably, Grove’s bill was jointly authored by Democrat Senators Anna Caballero (D-Merced) and Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park).

According to Sen. Grove:

“SB 1414 states that any individual who solicits, agrees to engage in, or engages in any act of commercial sex with a minor will face felony charges. If passed, this law will hold these offenders accountable under strict liability (meaning buyers can’t just claim they thought the child was of age) and they will face imprisonment in the state prison, along with fines up to $25,000 and mandatory registration as a sex offender. We must continue to shed light on the darkness of human trafficking, bring justice and protection to those who are most vulnerable. We are sending a clear message with SB 1414– Not one more child should have to suffer at the hands of those who seek to exploit and harm them.”

Remember, it was California’s Democrats who voted last July 2023 to kill another bill by Sen. Grove, to make child sex trafficking a felony once again in the state. In “California Assembly Democrats Block Bill to Fight Sex Trafficking of Minors,” the Globe reported that Grove’s bill, Senate Bill 14 was blocked in the Assembly Public Safety Committee by Democrats, after passing unanimously in the Senate.

Public outrage and articles like ours put enough pressure on Assembly Democrats that they were shamed into calling for a re-vote on SB 14 and passed it. and Gov. Newsom signaled that he would sign the bill, which he did in September 2023.

As we explained at the time, human trafficking was defined as a “non-serious” crime because of Proposition 57 passed in 2016, which meant the act of human trafficking could no longer be considered a strike under California’s Three Strikes law.

There is a plethora of history like this with California’s Democrat lawmakers.

Six proposed bills in 2018-19 would have corrected unclear language and serious flaws in Proposition 57, passed in 2016 by voters, which reclassified many serious heinous crimes as “non-serious.” The initiative specified early parole for persons who committed non-violent offenses. However, the initiative never specified what is considered a non-violent felony.

But all 6 bills were killed by Democrats. Ironically, most of the bills were killed in Assembly or Senate Public Safety committees, just as SB 14 was.

And notably, the main stream media attempted to make Gov. Gavin Newsom the hero when he signaled he’d step in and help the bill along.

Did they forget Gov. Newsom signed Senate Bill 145 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) to protect sex offenders who have sex with minors – a bill passed by Democrats in the California Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom? More on this bill below.

Sen. Grove sent out a statement after the hearing Tuesday explaining the takeover:

“Instead of voting on Senator Grove’s bill as proposed, members of the committee instead forced hostile amendments and voted the bill out of committee without Senator Grove’s consent. Now, instead of making the purchase of all children a felony, the committee has made the solicitation or purchase of children for sex punishable by a wobbler, which can still be charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by as little as 2 days in jail or up to a $10,000 fine.

A felony can only be charged if the child solicited or purchased was 15 years old or younger, and unfortunately, the buyer would still be ineligible for prison. If a buyer has a previous conviction of purchasing a child under 16 years old and is convicted on a second offense of buying child under 16 years old and the victim and buyer are more than 10 years apart in age, only then would the buyer have to register as a tier one sex offender (10-years).

This bill would instead make all solicitation of a minor a state prison felony offense with a penalty of two, three or four years in state prison, and/or a fine not exceeding $25,000, regardless of whether the defendant knew or should have known the person was a minor. In doing so, this bill lowers the bar as to what must be proven to obtain a criminal conviction while at the same time increasing the punishment under the statute to a state prison felony.”

Senator Nancy Skinner. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

The ghoulish Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) actually attempted to offer cover for buying and selling sex:

“Selling sex has been within human cultures for millennia. It is a very difficult area of law to get into.”

Really? Can Skinner be serious? She is, and is also an advocate of abortion and the author of SB 345 which provides legal protections for medication abortions and “gender-affirming care” – dangerous, irreversible hormone treatments for gender-confused “trans” persons.

But then Sen. Skinner pulled a trick out of Sen. Wiener’s playbook – she proposed a ten-year age gap – as is the case in Wiener’s SB 145 – between the adult and the minor child.

And Sen. Skinner claimed Grove’s bill was just too overarching… Because Grove says “buying sex from a child is a serious crime and should be a felony.”

I’m not sure how that is just too broad and overarching.

“I’m incredibly disappointed that not only did my colleagues reject my proposal to make the buying of children for sex a prison felony, but that I was blindsided when they amended my bill without my consent,” said Senator Grove.

Grove’s bill was hijacked by Democrats and hostile amendments were forced on her bill. And then Democrats passed the modified bill.

“Children of all ages deserve to be protected under the law and a simple fine after buying a child for sex is not an appropriate punishment. Californians across the state have made their voices heard and they want this law changed. Unfortunately, the members of the public safety committee continue their soft on crime approach at the expense of California’s most vulnerable, our children,” Senator Grove said.

Indeed. It is the responsibility of adults, and especially those in positions of power, to protect children. Instead, Democrats in the California Legislature are pulling out the stops to legalize abhorrent sexual acts between adults and vulnerable kids.

If there are any lingering doubts about Sen. Wiener’s intent with his SB 145, the bill analysis is much more clear than the Senator:

This bill states non-forcible sodomy, oral copulation, and sexual penetration with a minor do not require mandatory sex offender registration unless there is a ten-year gap between the minor and the other person. However, a court may still require registration if it deems appropriate. These offenses, when committed without force, where the minor was a willing participant and under the age of 14 are sometimes referred to as “Hofsheier offenses.” People v. Hofsheier (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1185 held that requiring mandatory sex offender registration for one such an offense – oral copulation – was unconstitutional if the state did not also require registration for a person convicted non-forcible sexual intercourse with a minor because it made an illegal distinction based on the sex act itself.”

“Non-forcible sodomy, oral copulation, and sexual penetration with a minor” is the first legal problem with this bill as it is against the law to have sex with a minor – gay or straight. The legal age of consent in California is 18 years of age. The age of consent refers to the age at which a person can legally consent to any sexual intercourse.

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33 thoughts on “California’s Senate Democrats Reject Bill to Make Purchasing a Child for Sex a Felony

    1. Katy Grimes: “The ghoulish Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) actually attempted to offer cover for buying and selling sex:
      ‘Selling sex has been within human cultures for millennia. It is a very difficult area of law to get into.'”

      Can you BELIEVE this Nancy Skinner? What the hell is WRONG with her? Unfortunately it’s not exactly a surprise, as it is not a surprise the similar sickening stuff Sen Scott Wiener routinely serves up.

      I’m glad Katy Grimes did a blow-by-blow of this stomach-churning outrage. It’s not exactly pleasant stuff but we need to see it and take it in so we can know what these sub-humans who call themselves California legislators actually say and do with the power they have been privileged to have.
      Share this article if you are able so it bounces around EVERYWHERE.

  1. Democrat Senator Nancy Skinner looks ghoulish and creepy? The criminal Democrat mafia that controls California are a satanic death cult full of sick pedo perverts. No doubt they binge on baby blood and adrenochrome?

  2. Providing little or no punishment for buying or selling 16 and 17 year old children for sex is a new level of evil even for the Dem Party. It is not politics. It is satanic or demonic. Whether the Dem Party god is Satan and/or his demons, it is definitely not the Lord.

  3. Democrat Sen. Nancy Skinner is reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the West character from the Wizard of Oz movie and you can just hear her snarl “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!” Does anyone have a bucket of cold water to throw on the evil witch?

  4. Amazing hypocrisy on Senator Skinner’s part when she was quoted as saying, “ Selling sex has been within human cultures for millennia. It is a very difficult area of law to get into.” So was slavery, but the Democrats certainly do not extend that kind of caveat to slavery. And, we were able to put an end to legal slavery through legislation.

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