-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
The California Supreme Court has ruled on a case involving California’s pimp law. Jomo Zambia was in his car at a “notorious intersection,” known for its plethora of prostitutes. He offered his pimp services to a woman he believed to be a prostitute. These services “included providing housing and clothing, if she turned over all of her money to him.”
The prostitute turned out to be an LAPD Officer working undercover. Zambia was arrested and later convicted of the crime of pandering, as one who “induces, persuades or encourages another person to become a prostitute.”
The California Supreme Court has decided if it’s possible to convict a defendant for encouraging another person to become a prostitute when that person is already appears to be a prostitute.
In People v. Zambia the court held that the state’s pandering law does apply to a pimp who recruits a current prostitute to work for him. The court reasoned:
The phrase “encourages another person to become a prostitute” can readily be understood to encompass the goal that the target “become a prostitute” in the future for the benefit of the encourager or some other pimp.
Two judges dissented from this interpretation. Judge Joyce Kennard, wrote that she “cannot fathom how one can ‘become’ what one already is.”
H/T: Legal Blog Watch.