For Release On a
Monday April 21, 2014
Sex Workers Call Foul on California SB 1388; Another Fake Human Trafficking Bill.
When: Tuesday April 22, 2014, 9:00 am
What: California Senate Public Safety Committee Hearing
Where: Senate Public Safety Committee in Room 3191
Contact: Maxine Doogan, Erotic Service Providers Union 415-265-3302, Norma Jean Almodovar, 818-892-2029, Ms. R californiarapesvictims [at] gmail.com
‘Manifesting prostitution’ laws come to California under the guise of rescuing victims in SB 1388.
They are back! The same anti prostitution lobby who touted Prop 35 as a ‘comprehensive initiative’ under the guise of rescuing victims now say they want to change California’s prostitution law, the infamous 647(b) for the same reason. SB 1388 contains the same type of vague and over broad language that convicted Monica Jones in Phoenix Arizona on April 11, 2014 of ‘manifesting prostitution’. Jones, a transgender woman, activist and university student was found guilty by a judge but did not actually engage in prostitution. She accepted a ride to a bar in her neighborhood by two under cover cops. She must now serve 30 days and assessed jail costs at $2540.70.
Sponsored by California Senator Ted Lieu and the backers of Prop 35, SB 1388 say it will institute tougher penalties for sex 'buyers'. “Re-criminalizing our customers’ right to negotiate negatively impacts our ability to negotiate”, says Maxine Doogan of the Erotic Service Providers Union. “SB 1388 titles itself as ‘human trafficking bill’ but really its aim is to expand the anti prostitution definition to a ‘commercial sex act’ which could be applied to pornography too”.
The vague prostitution bill purports itself to target the ‘buyers’ but really includes putting sex workers in jail serving a mandatory 48 hours sentence and pay a $1000 fine too. The new high fines are to fund more fake services much like the one operated in a church basement that Monica Jones was taken to in handcuffs after her arrest called Project Rose run by Catholic Charities. The creation of a new special ‘Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Services Fund’ is for counseling raises serious questions for Mr. R, who was the recipient of rape crisis services from Bay Area Women Against Rape after being raped in Sept. 2012. “They basically blamed me for being raped because the perpetrator targeted me as a sex worker”, said Mr. R. “Given that these ‘peer councilors’ at BAWAR are men in their 50’s and the teenage girls they are counseling are contacted while riding along in anti prostitution sting operations, I have a serious concern based on how I was treated that more abuse will take place behind close doors as there is no oversight in SB1388”.
Norma Jean Almodovar, a former member of the Los Angeles Police Department turned call girl said "SB 1388 doesn't address police officers who use the existing laws to rape and rob us as this bill creates a bounty for law enforcement giving them even more power to abuse the laws makes sex workers even more vulnerable". Info [at] espu-ca.org