Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Issue of When a Pimp is a Pimp Up to CA Supreme Court

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Is it the neck laden with big, blingy gold chains? The omnipresent sunglasses, walking stick, or dapper hat? The animal print mixed with bold-colored garb? Sure, at Halloween, (and year-round on some L.A. streets) it's easy to spot the pimps in the crowd. Now a case before the California Supreme Court has arrived at the deciding point of when a pimp becomes a pimp, according to the AP via CBS2.

The issue is tied to a case heard today concerning Jomo Zambia, a man who "was convicted of pandering in Los Angeles after he tried to recruit an undercover police officer to work as a prostitute for him."

Who can pander? The law says "a person who encourages another to become a prostitute is guilty of pandering." However, Zambia's lawyer is arguing that pandering doesn't apply when the person doing the recruiting is going after working pros, only when they are aiming to pimp "innocent victims."

When it comes to the dictionary, a pimp is "a man who solicits for a prostitute or brothel and lives off the earnings," or "a man who procures sexual gratification for another; procurer; pander." The court has 90 days to determine just what's in the name.