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Prostitution (PC 647(b)), Inglewood, Judicial Diversion

The areas near a major airport commonly have a few hotels for passengers who must spend a night before catching a connecting flight and those who are in town for business, but prefer to stay close to the airport because they have an early morning departure and want to avoid a long taxi or bus ride to the airport before leaving.

The residential areas near an airport are often less desirable because of the noise of aircraft landing and taking off, as well as the pollution of aircraft – as well as the danger of an aircraft crashing on takeoff or landing.  While there certainly may be businesses nearby that are not hotels, they may be motels, fast food restaurants, massage businesses and convenience stores catering to travelers.  There also may be industrial businesses that send products to customers via air freight and therefore locate close to the airport.

The sale of illegal controlled substances and prostitution are also commonly associated with the areas around airports. 

The area around Los Angeles International Airport seems to fit the description of such an area.  The businesses along Century Boulevard east of LAX leading into LAX, while having been “cleaned up” quite a bit by zoning laws and the police, remains a hotbed of drug sales and prostitution.

Our client seemed to know that he could find a prostitute in this area and the Inglewood Police Department was certainly aware that men would search out “company” in this area.  The police actively posted advertisements on Backpage.com before it was shut down by the federal government, but now post frequently on CutTheGames and Backpage2.

Our client landed at LAX and was only going to be in Los Angeles for less than twenty-four hours.  Before heading to his hotel, which was twenty miles away near his client’s business, he pulled over in his rental car and scanned posts on the two above websites.

Within ten minutes, he had texted a person he believed to be a woman and arranged to meet her at the Quality Inn & Suites on Century Boulevard, about a mile from LAX.  The person he texted was an Inglewood Police Officer conducting a sting for human trafficking and prostitution reduction.

Our client texted with the decoy and the two reached an agreement in writing that our client would tender $40 in exchange for “everything,” which traditionally referred to oral copulation and sexual intercourse.

Our client pulled into the parking lot of the Quality Inn & Suites, parked and walked over to the hotel room the decoy gave him.  Our client knocked on the door and a uniformed police officer greeted him, calling him by name (from the texts), further opening the door and immediately pulling him into the room, where he was seated on a bed in the room and ticketed for solicitation of prostitution, a violation of Penal Code § 647(b).

Our client realized instantly what had just happened to him and that the “woman” he believed he was about to meet for sex was a police officer posing as a prostitute.

Our client was not taken to the Inglewood Police Station and booked there.  Instead, he was simply issued a ticket, signed a promise to appear in the Inglewood Courthouse in about three months and allowed to leave in his rental car.

When our client had returned home, he called our office and spoke with Greg Hill.  The client explained what had happened to him and wanted to know what would happen in court.

Our client, in his early thirties, had no prior criminal history.

Greg explained how solicitation of prostitution cases are generally handled in Los Angeles County superior courts, but commented that with the new head District Attorney, George Gascon, in office, things had changed even for the prosecutors who were not district attorneys, i.e., they were city prosecutors and city attorneys.

Greg also explained that there was a new program called judicial diversion under Penal Code §§ 1001.94 and 1001.95.  Greg then explained how judicial diversion operated and what it allowed.

The client then hired Greg Hill & Associates and Greg filed a motion for judicial diversion.  The judge granted the motion and our client met the requirements of attending a prostitution prevention program by enrolling in and completing the North American Learning Institute sixteen hour online course and otherwise submitting an HIV test to the judge and remaining out of trouble for six months.  Upon completion of the six months, as well as the other two obligations, the case would be dismissed. 

The client was extremely happy with this resolution.

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"Thank you so much for putting so much effort in this case. We really appreciate it and we are happy that all turned out well." S.A., Torrance
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