“A total of eleven men were arrested in Stevenson Ranch and Castaic during a human trafficking operation that was conducted on Tuesday by The Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Taskforce and Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputies.
Four of the eleven men male were arrested on the 31700 block of Castaic Road for prostitution-related charges after they solicited sex acts from an undercover sheriff’s deputy walking on Castaic Road.
The other seven men were arrested on the 25200 block of The Old Road, Stevenson Ranch, after responding to sexually suggestive ads placed on several internet sites. Each of the males agreed to meet undercover sheriff’s deputies at a local hotel for the purposes of sex.
The operation included task force partners from the Los Angeles Unified School District Police Department (LAUSD), and the Los Angeles County Probation Department”
Soliciting prostitution is covered under California Penal Code 647(b) PC and can be charged when someone:
- Pays or accepts money to commit a sexual act
- Offers to engage in prostitution
- Agrees to engage in an act of prostitution
Under these definitions, the law applies to both those who act as prostitutes as well as those who hire them. The crime is a misdemeanor with the possible penalties of up to 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000 fine for a first offense. For a second offense, the penalty increases to a mandatory minimum of 45 days in jail, and third or subsequent offenses carry a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail. If the crime is committed in a vehicle, both prostitutes and their Johns are subject to additional penalties, including a 30-day driver’s license suspension or a 6-month driver’s license restriction.