Nearly Naked Prostitutes Prowl Streets in Broad Daylight, but California Law Ties Police Hands: Mayor

Women wearing only “g-strings” while bending over in front of traffic has become an increasingly common sight in National City, California, as prostitution issues spiral after the implementation of a controversial state law, the city’s mayor told Fox News Digital.

“They’re waving to people on the freeway or, just to be honest with you, they are bending over for the freeway. I don’t know how else to put it; they’re showing their wares,” National City Mayor Ron Morrison told Fox News Digital in an interview this month.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 357 in July 2022, which repealed a previous law that banned loitering with the intent to engage in prostitution. The law took effect in January this year, with Morrison arguing that the moment Newsom’s pen touched the bill, pimps in the state knew they could expand their prostitution ventures with little repercussions from law enforcement.

“The moment it was signed by the governor, boom, everyone knew the rules were out the window,” Morrison told Fox News Digital.

“Those that are out there on the street, most of them are wearing less than what you would consider a scanty negligee. It is just flaunting in everybody’s face. And so a lot of people are screaming, ‘Hey, you know, can’t you get them on indecent exposure?’ And the problem is the way our laws read in this state. The definition of indecent exposure is as long … as the genitals are covered. Anything else is fair game out in public.”

National City is a diverse working-class city of roughly 60,000 residents just outside San Diego on the bay, Morrison said. Prostitution issues are no stranger to the city, with the mayor explaining that as an urban area, sex workers have been known to cross the San Diego city border – but never at the rate he’s currently seeing.

“Very much beyond brazen,” Morrison said of what he’s seeing on his streets.

Prostitutes gather in a downtown area that faces a freeway and are most often seen early in the morning and around 3 p.m. Morrison added that another new California law that legalized jaywalking has compounded the issues as some women stand in traffic to attract a john. 

“I was driving on one of the streets the other day, and there’s this young lady standing there in the middle of the street wearing basically a G-string, and that was it, and a couple pasties. But she’s right in front of my car, I couldn’t move. So, I did ask her very politely, ‘Would you please move out of the street?’ And she looked at me and says, ‘If you don’t want to talk to me, you can go around,'” Morrison said.

Businesses, ranging from mom-and-pop stores to national hotel chains, have sounded off to the mayor that the prostitutes are driving away business and have forced some businesses to refund families who were appalled at seeing nearly naked women while on their California getaway.

Even a local school covered its windows after prostitutes were repeatedly found hanging out near its gates, Morrison said. 

The mayor argues that the issue comes down to Senate Bill 357, which he called an “idiotic law” that should be known as the “Safe Streets for Pimps Initiative,” which has allegedly not only left his town and other municipalities in the state dealing with an increase of sex workers on the street, but it has also incentivized human trafficking.

“This one has just opened the doors to prostitution, sex trafficking, child sex trading, I mean, you name it. This has obviously done that. And I don’t think anyone that is not just purely politically motivated could disagree with that,” Morrison said.

The mayor described himself as a “nonpartisan” who has worked at various levels of government over more than 30 years, whose main focus is to “look out for people in National City and their businesses” and not play politics in Sacramento.

Senate Bill 357 was authored by Democrat state Sen. Scott Wiener, who championed the bill as one that would help protect transgender women from being targeted by police.

“[The previous law] allowed police officers to arrest a person, not based on what they did but based solely on how a person looks,” Wiener told local media earlier this year. “So, an officer could arrest someone because they were wearing tight clothing, high heels and extra lipstick.”

Fox News Digital previously spoke with members of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), which is one of the largest and oldest direct service providers for sex and labor trafficking survivors in the U.S., who said they supported the bill “because we know that reducing the criminalization of survivors will help prevent human trafficking.”

“Traffickers rely on our systems to criminalize victims so that they are unable to access safety due to their records and are vulnerable to continued exploitation,” Leigh LaChapelle, CAST’s associate director of survivor advocacy, told Fox News earlier this year after the law took effect.

“The impact of these encounters with law enforcement reinforce already heightened stigma when someone is arrested for this offense due to the difficulties securing employment and safe housing with an arrest record relating to the sex trade,” LaChapelle added. “Violation of this discriminatory law also puts immigrants in jeopardy of deportation, loss of residency or denial of reentry due to a misdemeanor conviction.”

Prostitution is still illegal in California, but Morrison said the new law has effectively legalized the crime as police back off from intervening or interacting with the women.

“Senate Bill 357, which for all intents and purposes made prostitution legal because what it said is that officers can no longer contact people based on the idea of loitering for the purpose of prostitution. So, it basically tells the police your hands are off,” Morrison said.

He noted that some of the girls on the street appear underaged, though the amount of makeup the sex workers wear makes it difficult to gauge an age, and the city has previously seen girls as young as 12 working on the streets.

“A lot of the times [police] found out that these were juveniles … or that they were basically being sex trafficked, and they could get them out of that. Now, they basically have no legal opportunity to even talk to them,” Morrison said.

With prostitution blatantly on the streets, other crimes have also followed, including shootings and assaults. Morrison said that just weeks ago an eight-month pregnant prostitute was kidnapped, beaten and raped.

“Those [crime incidents] go on our crime stats. We’ve had shootings, everything else involving the prostitutes and the pimps. So, those crime stats go on us. These people don’t live here in National City and people here don’t want them, but we’re getting the crime stats,” he said.

Morrison said he is working with the local district attorney and the police department to craft avenues on how to navigate the state laws while cleaning up the streets. The police department has carried out “john stings” in the past, but such operations require a team of roughly 30 officers, which would translate to half of the city’s police force, and weeks of planning, Morrison said.

Click here to read the full article in FoxNews 11

Harris Wants to Legalize Prostitution Nationwide

Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris urges funds for tracking prescription drugsSen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) says that she supports the decriminalization of sex work nationwide, noting that “we can’t criminalize consensual behavior as long as no one is being harmed.”

In an interview with The Root, Harris was asked whether sex work “ought to be decriminalized,” though the interviewer did not specify at which level.

“I do,” Harris responded. “I think we have to understand though that it is not as simple as that. It’s about … there’s an ecosystem around that, that involves crimes that harm people. And for those issues, I do not believe that anyone that hurts another human being or profits off of their exploitation should be … free of criminal prosecution.”

“But when you’re talking about consenting adults? Yes, I think you have to really consider that we can’t criminalize consensual behavior as long as no one is being harmed,” she added. …

Click here to read the full article from The Hill

CA lawmakers advance bill to decriminalize prostitution for minors

As reported by the Los Angeles Times:

A controversial bill that would decriminalize prostitution for minors squeezed out of the California Assembly on Thursday and is now headed back to the Senate for a final vote.

SB 1322, authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), would make the crimes of solicitation and loitering with intent to commit prostitution misdemeanors inapplicable to children younger than 18. It also would allow law enforcement to take sexually exploited children into temporary custody if leaving them unattended would pose an immediate threat to their health or safety.

The measure passed Thursday with a 42-29 vote. It was one of two bills heard Thursday seeking to decriminalize prostitution.

SB 1129, authored by Bill Monning (D-Carmel), would repeal mandatory minimum sentences for specified prostitution offenses. It moved out of Assembly with a 42-26 vote and is also headed back to the Senate for a final vote.  …

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