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Child Prostitution

Penal Code 266 PC - Enticing a Child to Prostitution

California Penal Code 266 PC makes it a crime to entice a minor under the age of 18 into a brothel for prostitution or fraudulently procure a minor to have sexual intercourse with someone.

Enticing a child to prostitution is a form of human trafficking involving persuading minors into the sex trafficking trade or engaging in prostitution. Minor is defined as a person under the age of 18 in California. 

PC 266 also makes it illegal to fraudulently induce a minor to have sexual intercourse with another person (carnal child abuse).  A felony conviction carries up to three years in state prison. 

California Penal Code 266 PC - Enticing a Child to Prostitution
Penal Code 266 PC makes it a crime for a person to entice a minor into a brothel for prostitution.

PC 266 says, “A person who inveigles or entices a person under 18 years of age into a house of ill fame, or of assignation, or elsewhere, for the purpose of prostitution, or to have illicit carnal connection with another person, and a person who aids or assists in that inveiglement or enticement, and a person who, by any false pretenses, false representation, or other fraudulent means, procures a person to have illicit carnal connection with another person, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding $2,000, or by both that fine and imprisonment.”

Inveigles” means to persuade somebody to do something using deception or flattery. “Assignation" means an appointment to meet someone in secret for sexual activity. 

A “house of ill fame” is a house of prostitution, brothel, bordello, motel room, massage parlor, private residence, or other similar location where prostitution is conducted.

Prostitution” is defined as the act or occupation of engaging in sexual services for compensation, such as cash or goods. 

Illicit carnal connection” is defined as an act of sexual intercourse or sexual activity with another person, such as sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, sexual penetration with a foreign object, etc.

Penal Code 266 - Explained

It should be noted that this law prohibits different types of behavior, such as the following:

  • Enticing a minor into a brothel or other place for the purpose of engaging in acts of prostitution.
  • Fraudulently persuading a minor to have unlawful sexual intercourse.
  • Aiding and abetting a minor in prostitution activity.
  • Bringing someone to engage in illicit carnal connection with a minor, regardless of receiving as payment.
  • Tricking a minor into engaging in an illicit carnal connection with someone, regardless of receiving payment.

As noted, PC 266 covers a situation where the defendant entices a minor to work as a prostitute or engage in sexual conduct with another person. However, suppose the defendant sexually engages with a minor in an illicit carnal connection.

In that case, the defendant could face additional charges related to their conduct, including lewd acts with a minor, oral copulation with a minor, statutory rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object on a minor, etc. 

What is the PC 266 Penalties?

Penal Code 266 PC enticing a child into prostitution is a wobbler, meaning it can be filed by the District Attorney as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on case details. 

The deciding factors for filing the PC 266 case will depend on the defendant's criminal history, the alleged offense's sophistication, any aggravating sentencing factors, etc.   

If you are convicted of a PC 266 misdemeanor, the penalties will include: 

  • Up to one year in county jail, but informal probation might be imposed instead of a jail sentence,
  • A fine of up to $2,000. 

If you are charged with a PC 266 felony offense, a conviction can carry the following:

  • Up to three years in California state prison, but formal probation might be imposed instead of a jail sentence. 
  • A fine of up to $2,000 can be reduced if the defendant can show they do not have the financial ability to pay the fine.
  • A criminal protective order can be issued against the defendant to protect the alleged minor victim. 

It should be noted that any prison or county jail sentence after a PC 266 conviction is eligible for 50% good conduct credit, meaning the defendant can have their incarceration time reduced by up to 50% if they are deemed to have good behavior while in custody. 

Further, in addition to the penalties listed above, a defendant who was convicted of PC 266 enticing a minor to engage in prostitution could face a civil lawsuit, loss of their gun rights, etc. 

Can You Get Probation Rather Than Jail Time?

A probation sentence is a period of supervision by either a judge in misdemeanor cases or a probation officer in felonies. While a probation sentence is allowed in PC 266 cases, it will depend heavily on the case details, such as the defendant's criminal history and the circumstances of the case.

Suppose the judge grants the defendant a probation sentence. In that case, some conditions of probation must be followed for the defendant to remain out of jail. If they violate the terms and conditions of probation, their probation can be revoked, and they will be sentenced to jail. 

In Penal Code 266 PC enticing a child into prostitution, the terms and conditions of probation typically include the following:

  • Do not violate any laws while on probation,
  • Pay fines and court fees up to $2,000,
  • Pay any court-ordered restitution,
  • Complete a certain number of community service hours,
  • Register as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code Section 290,
  • No contact with the victim through a criminal protective order,
  • Submit to a search of person or property if requested by police.

Notably, a condition of probation might include a period of incarceration but could be served on work release or house arrest.

Work release is a common condition of probation term for violations of PC 266, enticing a minor to engage in prostitution. Work release can include cleaning the jail facility or picking up trash. Work release is not the same as community service, which involves working around the local “community” as a volunteer.

Suppose the defendant is sentenced to state prison rather than a probation sentence after a felony conviction for persuading a minor to engage in prostitution. In that case, their sentence must be served in a state prison rather than county jail, but it could be a split sentence, such as served out of prison on work release.

Do You Have to Register as a Sex Offender? 

The crime of PC 266, enticing or persuading a minor to engage in prostitution, will require sex offender registration. Thus, if a defendant is convicted, they must register as defined under Penal Code 290 PC.

Sex offender registration for PC 266 convictions is considered a tier-one registration of ten years. Any violation of the duty to register as a sex offender is a new separate crime in addition to a probation violation. California has a three-tier sex offender system.

Further, the crime of PC 266 enticing a minor to engage in prostitution means the defendant might be listed on the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI). 

This is a tool used by law enforcement to give them the ability to quickly determine someone's possible threat to children for use in family law custody and visitation issues, restraining orders, etc. Notably, once convicted for PC 266, getting their name removed from the CACI is challenging.

Are There Immigration Consequences? 

Any non-citizen alien convicted of PC 266 enticing a child into prostitution could face deportation or inadmissibility. This offense is considered a crime of moral turpitude under the United States immigration law and could have negative consequences after a conviction.

A crime involving moral turpitude is a crime that is considered morally reprehensible or involves dishonesty. Crimes involving moral turpitude carry negative collateral consequences in addition to the other listed penalties.

Crimes involving moral turpitude often impact may negatively impact immigrants, such as deportation or denial of US citizenship. Deportation means removal from the United States, and inadmissibility consists of being ineligible to enter the country. Anyone who is deported is typically banned from returning.

What Are Related Sex Crimes?

California has several laws related to PC 266 enticing a child into prostitution, such as the following: 

  • Penal Code 288 PClewd acts with a minor is a felony when someone engages in lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old.
  • Penal Code 288.2 PCsending harmful matter to seduce a minor means to distribute any harmful material of a sexual nature to minors.
  • Penal Code 288.3 PCcontacting a minor to commit a felony prohibits any attempts to convince a minor to commit a felony, such as certain sex crimes like oral copulation or lewd acts.
  • Penal Code 288.4 PCarranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes makes it a crime to coordinate a meeting with a minor to commit an indecent act when there is an abnormal sexual interest in children.
  • Penal Code 266h and 266i PCpimping and pandering prohibits anyone from collecting any portion of another's work as a prostitute or persuading them to become a prostitute.
  • Penal Code 236.1 PC – human trafficking prohibits depriving somebody of their personal liberty with the intent to violate pimping and pandering laws and child pornography laws.

What Are the Defenses for PC 266? 

There are some common defenses against charges of Penal Code 266 enticing child prostitution, including the following:  

  • The alleged victim was not a minor under 18.
  • You are the victim of entrapment by police.  
  • You are the victim of a false accusation.
  • Prefiling intervention to avoid criminal charges.  

Maybe we can argue you had a reasonable belief that the victim was not a minor. Perhaps they lied about their age or were dressed in a manner that made them look older. Maybe it was reasonable to believe they were consenting adults under the circumstances. 

Maybe we can argue that undercover police officers enticed you to commit the crime that you would have otherwise not committed, known as “entrapment.”

Perhaps we can argue that the charges are false and that you were wrongfully arrested. Maybe the person making the allegations was an adult motivated by anger, revenge, or jealousy.

Perhaps we can negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser charges or a case dismissal. Maybe we can arrange a DA rejection to avoid formally filing criminal charges. You can contact us for a free case evaluation. The Hedding Law Firm is based in Los Angeles, CA.

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