Penal Code 266 PC - Enticing a Child to Prostitution
California Penal Code 266 PC makes it a crime to entice a minor into a brothel for prostitution or fraudulently procure them to have sexual intercourse with somebody.
Simply put, PC 266 enticing a child to prostitution is a form of human trafficking involving the persuasion or coercion of a minor into the sex trafficking trade or to engage in prostitution.
Further, it's illegal to fraudulently induce a minor under 18 to have sexual intercourse, called “carnal abuse of a child.” This statute is a wobbler, and the penalties for a felony carry up to three years in state prison. In the context of this law, an illicit carnal connection includes oral sex and sexual intercourse.
Penal Code 266 PC says, “anyone who entices a minor 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 someone, or who aids or assists in that enticement, and who uses any false pretenses to procure a minor to have sexual intercourse with somebody.”
Of note is that this statute is divided into two sections and makes it a crime to (1) entice a minor into a brothel to engage in prostitution or (2) fraudulently convince them to have unlawful sexual intercourse.
If either of these acts occurred, you could be charged and convicted of violating this statute. Let's review this state law further below.
What Are the Related Crimes?
Several California laws are related to PC 266 enticing a child into prostitution, such as contacting a minor to commit a felony and arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes. Let's review them below.
Penal Code 288 PC lewd acts with a minor makes it a felony crime to engage in lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.
Penal Code 288.2 PC sending harmful matter to seduce a minor 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 makes it a crime to attempt to convince a minor to commit a felony.
Penal Code 288.4 PC arranging a meeting with a minor for lewd purposes makes it a crime to plan a meeting with a minor to meet to commit an indecent act.
Penal Code 266h and 266i PC pimping and pandering make it a crime for anyone to collect any portion of a prostitute's work or persuade them to become one.
Penal Code 236.1 PC human trafficking makes it a crime to deprive someone's liberty with the intent to violate pimping and pandering laws and child pornography laws.
What are the Penalties for PC 266?
PC 266 enticing a child into prostitution is a California wobbler that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the details of the case.
If you are convicted of PC 266 as a misdemeanor, the penalties include the following:
- up to one year in county jail,
- a fine of up to $2,000,
- informal summary probation.
If you are convicted of PC 266 as a felony, the penalties include the following:
- up to three years in state prison,
- a fine of up to $2,000,
- formal felony probation.
Also, a conviction for enticing a child into prostitution can result in California's tier-one sex offender registration for ten years.
If you are convicted while not a United States citizen, you could face deportation or inadmissibility, as this is considered a crime of moral turpitude.
It is possible to expunge a misdemeanor criminal conviction for PC 266 enticing a child into prostitution, but you must have completed probation or any jail term imposed by the court. A felony conviction is not eligible.
What Are the Defenses for PC 266?
Suppose you are facing a PC 266 enticing child prostitution charges. In that case, our California criminal defense attorneys can use several strategies to seek the best possible outcome on the case, such as the following:
- alleged victim was not a minor under 18,
- entrapment by law enforcement,
- victim of a false allegation.
For an entrapment defense, meaning you were lured into committing a crime you would not have committed, we can argue that undercover police enticed you to commit the crime, but this will heavily depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. Again, you need to consult with an experienced criminal lawyer.
Perhaps we can argue that you reasonably believed the victim was not a minor. On the other hand, suppose we can present evidence that the victim was over 18 years old or you believed they were an adult.
Perhaps they lied about their age? But, on the other hand, it may be reasonable to believe they were a consenting adult under the circumstances, such as their manner of dress to make them appear older.
Perhaps we can argue that the charges are false and that you were wrongfully arrested. Maybe the accuser made the allegations out of anger, revenge, or jealousy.
Perhaps we can negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser charges or a case dismissal. Maybe through prefiling, we can persuade the prosecuting agency not to file formal criminal charges in the first place, called a “DA reject.”
Cron, Israels & Stark is located in Los Angeles, CA. We offer a free case evaluation via phone or through the contact form.