Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe released the following statement regarding Gov. Jerry Brown signing multiple bills which protect young child sex trafficking victims from further exploitation, including Senate Bill 1322, which decriminalizes prostitution for minors in the state of California:
“There is no such thing as a child prostitute in the state of California. I am thrilled to hear that Gov Jerry Brown declared enough is enough and decriminalized prostitution and loitering with intent to commit prostitution for minors. This is truly a momentous day for the victims and survivors of this horrific crime, who fall prey to manipulative monsters who sell them for sex night after night. Instead of arresting and stigmatizing young child sex trafficking victims, law enforcement will now play a critical role in helping these girls get the support and treatment they need to escape life on the streets.
“Children don’t need to be arrested in order for us to provide them with the services they need to heal. Our approach in Los Angeles County is working. In the past two years, we have rescued 131 girls; most of whom have been placed in group homes, foster care or back with their families.
“Thanks to the efforts of Governor Brown, Senator Holly Mitchell, law enforcement, our advocacy groups and local community organizations, we can now offer compassion, help and support to our most vulnerable children, and refocus our efforts to bring justice to those who buy, sell and exploit them.”