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Democrat lawmakers make shocking change to child sex crime bill

A judge's gavel. (Dreamstime/TNS)
April 18, 2024

Democrat lawmakers in California amended a bill on Tuesday that would have made the solicitation of child sex a felony, watering down the language to exclude individuals who solicit child sex from 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds.

According to The Daily Wire, the California bill originally would have changed the designation of solicitation of a minor from a misdemeanor to a felony offense punishable by 2-4 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. The legislation would also have required individuals convicted of soliciting a minor to register for 10 years as a sex offender.

Without the consent of the bill’s original sponsor, Democrats on the California Senate Public Safety Committee amended the bill to only allow felony charges to be raised against individuals who solicit sex from a minor under the age of 15, allowing individuals who solicit sex from a 16-year-old or 17-year-old to only be charged with a misdemeanor offense.

According to The Daily Wire, Democrat lawmakers on the Senate Public Safety Committee voted to move forward with the bill on Tuesday.

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Following the California Senate Public Safety Committee’s decision to pass the bill with amendments watering down the original intent of the bill, Republican State Senator Shannon Grove, who proposed the bill, went on record to oppose the changes. KCRA 3 reported that Grove’s voice was shaking when she said, “To force these amendments on me in front of survivors, to water this down to avoid 16 and 17-year-olds.”

In a subsequent press release, the Republican lawmaker described the changes as “hostile amendments.” She also claimed that the new version of the bill would make child sex buyers “ineligible for prison.”

In the press release, Grove said she was “incredibly disappointed” that the Public Safety Committee rejected the legislation she proposed to “make the buying of children for sex a prison felony,” adding that she was “blindsided” by the Democrats’ decision to amend her bill without her consent.

“Children of all ages deserve to be protected under the law and a simple fine after buying a child for sex is not an appropriate punishment. Californians across the state have made their voices heard and they want this law changed,” Grove added. “Unfortunately, the members of the public safety committee continue their soft on crime approach at the expense of California’s most vulnerable, our children.”