When you carry around a business card that reads, “Big Pimpin’ Inc. Be a Star,” at a county fair, it’s not hard to imagine that the police will soon be on your trail. Such was the case for 34-year-old (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) who was arrested for pandering to minors as he walked around the fairgrounds asking young girls if they’d like to be stars in pornographic films.
California Penal Code 266i, covers what is known as ‘pandering.’ Pandering is quite different from ‘pimping,’ although the two are often confused for one another. Pandering occurs when you try to persuade someone to have sex for money by making them ‘available’ for prostitution. This could mean something as simple as giving them a ride when you know that they will be engaging in prostitution. So, pimping and pandering are much the same crime. But, if you’re still confused, just think of Heidi Fleiss, what she did was to encourage prostitution.
Pandering is considered a felony in the state of California and he will face a possible 6 years in state prison, registration as a sex offender (because the alleged victims were all under the age of 18), and up to $15,000 in fines. Because of the involvement of minors in the case, he may find his sentence extended by another 2 years for a potential of 8 years total. The bigger question that this case raises is whether or not ‘prostitution’ is the same thing as participation in ‘pornography.’