California decriminalizes prostitution for minors after Gov. Jerry Brown signs bills to aid trafficking victims

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

Photo purchased from iStock at Getty Images

***Editor's note: This does not mean they have made prostitution for minors legal. It means that they are not criminalizing the minor victim. The minor won't be arrested and charged. The buyers and the traffickers will still face tough penalties.***

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed more than half a dozen bills that decriminalize prostitution and increase protections for young trafficking victims in court amid growing efforts in California to help children and young adults swept into the trade of forced sex and labor.

Among the bills passed were laws that would prohibit the disclosure of victims' personal information, provide victims' services to trafficking witnesses and allow minors under age 16 to testify through closed-circuit televisions in certain cases.

But also approved were hotly contested bills that would decriminalize prostitution and allow human trafficking victims to vacate prior convictions and seal their records.

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