A new measure in California will prevent sex workers from being arrested
if they report that they were the victim of or witness to assault, domestic
violence, extortion, human trafficking, sexual battery, stalking. The
statute applies if the individual reporting the offense was engaged in
prostitution-related activity at or around the time they were subject
to or saw criminal behavior.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law in July of 2019, but it
won’t take effect until January of 2020. This is the first such
statute to be passed in the U.S.
In addition to protections from reporting crimes, the new law will also
prohibit condoms from being used as evidence in a prostitution case. Also,
if an individual has any amount of condoms on their person, that cannot
be used as probable cause to make an arrest.
The bill was introduced as a way to increase safety for sex workers. Currently,
if a person is engaged in an act of prostitution, and they report an offense,
they could be arrested for committing a
sex crime. Around 60% of sex workers are victims of violence, but few tell authorities
for fear of being punished themselves. Not only do they continue to suffer
abuse, but the perpetrator may not face consequences for their actions.
At a press release, Gov. Newsom said that the law will ensure crimes are
rightfully reported to the police.
Speak with our Lawyers at Appel & Morse During a Free Consultation
Being convicted of a sex crime such as prostitution could have serious
consequences on your life. You could face jail time and fines, affecting
your freedoms. Our team has over 30 years of experience, and we have an
in-depth understanding of the law. We will fight relentlessly to protect
your rights and work toward getting charges reduced or dropped.
For effective legal counsel, call us at (805) 467-6060 or
contact us online.