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Proposed Law Would Increase Penalties For Men Who Solicit Sex From Children

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A proposed law would stick it to anyone who solicits sex from children. Currently, it's just a misdemeanor, but some in L.A. would like it to be a felony, as well as making "Johns" register as sex offenders for life.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors are voting today on the motion, which is co-sponsored by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Don Knabe, CBS 2 reports. It asks lawmakers to change the state penal code, but they're also hoping that this becomes a nationwide standard to help curb child sex trafficking.

The motion also would increase fines from $1,000 to $10,000.

"I am proud of the work Los Angeles County has done over the past 18 months to bring awareness to the horrific crime of child sex trafficking," Knabe said in a statement. "However, in addition to doing all we can to protect the young victims, we must aggressively penalize those who solicit girls for sex and ensure they are the ones prosecuted, not the victims."

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Chairman Ridley-Thomas is quoted on Knabe's site as saying, "This is not a victimless crime. These are children who are being exploited for the enjoyment of unscrupulous men. It is our duty to stop children from being sexually assaulted. California should have the toughest laws in the nation that are designed to deter 'Johns' from sexually exploiting children."

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