‘Open Sex Markets 24 Hours A Day’: In Wake Of Dem-Backed Law, Prostitution Spreads In California
Senator Scott Wiener comes in to talk to the editorial board at the Chronicle on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, in San Francisco, Calif
Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Californians are complaining about barely-clothed prostitutes roaming the streets in broad daylight, an issue heightened by Democratic Gov. Newsom signing Senate Bill 357, local officials say. 

SB 357, which was authored by Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener and backed by the ACLU, decriminalizes “loitering with intent to commit prostitution.” Critics say the law effectively decriminalizes prostitution in California.

National City Mayor Ron Morrison, an independent, recently criticized the law, telling Fox News that prostitutes are now “wearing less than what you would consider a scanty negligee” and “flaunting it in everybody’s face.”

Morrison also said the law, which was signed by Newsom last year, ties the hands of law enforcement, stating that the “moment” the bill was signed “everyone knew the rules were out the window.”

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit, likewise, told The Daily Wire that the law has “made it extremely difficult” for police to get involved. 

“In the past, you know, when we were able to contact women or those involved in sex trafficking, we could use the ‘loitering with intent’ after we watched them. Once they decriminalize that, we really don’t have an entryway into making that contact anymore,” he said during a phone interview.

“What we’re seeing now, is we have these open sex markets, 24 hours a day, 365 days out of the year,” the police chief said. 

Morrison claimed police also can’t apprehend these women for indecent exposure, since the way that law is written, if their genitals are covered, they can’t be arrested. 


Video footage from the Bay Area and San Diego, in particular, show women walking the streets in g-strings, bras, and high heels, sometimes bending over in traffic, at all times of the day. Residents have routinely complained about the noise, the fighting, the drug use, and how it’s wildly inappropriate for such behavior to be around children. The residents who have spoken out, typically anonymously, also worry for the women selling themselves, fearing they could be sex trafficking victims. 

Chief Nisleit said the law emboldens those trafficking women, “specifically younger women,” and makes it “much harder for us to rescue those victims. Just because you decriminalize something, doesn’t mean the impact on the victim, those who are being trafficked, or on the community goes away. In fact, sometimes, like this, it increases.”

Wiener said he drafted the legislation to protect “trans and black and brown women,” whom he claims are harassed by police for their identity. 

“Why would we have a criminal law allowing a police officer to arrest you based exclusively on how you look, not on what you do?” Wiener said. “That’s wrong, we shouldn’t have that kind of law on the books. And police have plenty of laws that deal with trafficking and they should be doing more work on addressing trafficking and less time complaining.” 

Anti-sex trafficking advocates and local leaders, including both Democrats and Republicans, are currently working to repeal SB357, but thus far those efforts have fallen short. The law continues to have strong support from Democrats in the state Senate. In March, Senate Democrats voted against a repeal effort 29 to 8

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Open Sex Markets 24 Hours A Day’: In Wake Of Dem-Backed Law, Prostitution Spreads In California