Review of California Penal Code 266 PC
California Penal Code 266 PC is the statute making it a crime for someone to entice a minor into a brothel for prostitution or fraudulently procure a minor to have sexual intercourse with someone.
In other words, PC 266 enticing a child to prostitution is a type of human trafficking that involves persuading a minor into the sex trafficking trade or engaging in prostitution.
It's also a crime to fraudulently induce a minor, (someone under 18 years old, to have sexual intercourse, also called carnal abuse of a child. If convicted of this wobbler, the penalties for a felony offense carry up to three years in state prison.
This statute, Penal Code 266 PC, legally defines this crime as “anybody that entices someone under 18 years of age into a house of ill fame, or of assignation, for the purpose of prostitution, or to have an illicit carnal connection with another person, and somebody who aids or assists in that enticement, and anyone who uses any false pretenses to procure a minor to have sexual intercourse with somebody.”
As noted above, this sexual-related statute is divided into two sections and makes it a crime to:
- Entice a minor into a brothel for the purpose is engaging in acts of prostitution, or
- Fraudulently convincing a minor to have unlawful sexual intercourse with another person.
If either of these acts occurred, you could be found guilty of violating Penal Code 266 PC. For the purposes of this law, an illicit carnal connection includes oral sex and sexual intercourse. In this article by our California criminal defense attorneys, we will look closely at the laws below.
What are the Penalties for a Conviction?
PC 266 enticing a child into prostitution is a wobbler that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the details of the case. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, the penalties will include:
- up to one year in county jail,
- a fine of up to $2,000,
- informal summary probation.
If you are charged with a felony offense, a conviction can carry the following:
- up to three years in California state prison,
- a fine of up to $2,000,
- formal felony probation.
Further, a conviction for PC 266 enticing a child into prostitution could result in California's tier-one sex offender registration for ten years.
Does a Conviction Affect Immigration Status?
Yes. If you are convicted of enticing a child into prostitution and are not a United States citizen, you could face deportation or inadmissibility.
The courts consider this offense a crime of moral turpitude under the United States immigration law and could have negative consequences for anyone convicted.
Deportation means removal from the United States, and inadmissibility involves being ineligible to enter the country. Anyone who is deported from the United States is typically banned from returning.
Can I Get This Offense Expunged?
Yes. If it was a misdemeanor, it's possible to expunge a criminal conviction for PC 266 enticing a child into prostitution. To be granted an expungement, you must have completed probation or any jail term imposed by the court.
If you spent time in state prison for this conviction, you would not usually be eligible for an expungement as they are not available for felony convictions in California.
What Are the Related Sex Crimes?
In California, numerous laws are related to enticing a child into prostitution under PC 266, such as contacting a minor to commit a felony and arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes. Let's look closer below.
Penal Code 288 PC – lewd acts with a minor. This statute makes it a felony to engage in lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old.
Penal Code 288.2 PC – sending harmful matter to seduce a minor. This statute makes it a crime to distribute any harmful material of a sexual nature to minors.
Penal Code 288.3 PC – contacting a minor to commit a felony. This statute prohibits any attempts to convince a minor to commit a felony.
Penal Code 288.4 PC – arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes. This California statute makes it a crime to coordinate a meeting with a minor to meet to commit an indecent act.
Penal Code 266h and 266i PC – pimping and pandering. This statute 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. This statute prohibits depriving someone of their liberty with the intent to violate pimping and pandering laws and child pornography laws.
What Are the Defenses for a Child Prostitution Charge?
If you are facing a charge of enticing child prostitution, there are several common defenses we can use for the best possible outcome on the case, including:
- The alleged victim was not a minor under 18 years old;
- You are the victim of entrapment by law enforcement, meaning you were lured into committing a crime you would not have otherwise committed;
- You are the victim of a false allegation. Perhaps we can show why someone would accuse you of a crime you didn't commit.
For the legal defense of entrapment, perhaps we can argue that undercover police officers enticed you to commit the crime. You need to consult with an experienced criminal attorney to understand your best potential defenses.
Perhaps you can argue you had a reasonable belief the victim was not a minor. Maybe we can show evidence the victim was over 18 years old or you believed they were an adult.
Maybe the alleged victim lied about their age? Perhaps it was reasonable to believe they were a consenting adult under the circumstances. Perhaps their manner of dress made them look older.
Maybe we can argue that the charges are false and that you were wrongfully arrested. Perhaps the person making the allegations was an adult motivated by anger, revenge, or jealousy.
Further, we might be able to negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser charges or a case dismissal. Another option is prefiling negotiation with law enforcement and the prosecutor to convince them not to file formal criminal charges in the first place (DA reject).
Eisner Gorin LLP is based in Los Angeles County, serving people across the state of California. You can reach our law firm for an initial consultation by calling (877) 781-1570 or filling out the contact form.