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F 16.455 n1 Loitering With Intent To Commit Prostitution (PC 653.22): Constitutional Challenge.
A loitering /prostitution statute may be subject to constitutional challenge unless it includes a specific intent to commit prostitution. Some courts have struck down statutes prohibiting “loitering for prostitution” laws. (See e.g., Brown v. Anchorage (AK 1978) 584 P2d 35; Profit v. Tulsa (OK 1980) 617 P2d 250; see also City of Chicago v. Morales (99) 527 US 41 [144 LEd2d 67; 119 SCt 1849] [criminal liability for loitering without any apparent purpose violates due process. The majority and concurring opinion concluded that “apparent purpose” is too vague because it leaves the decision of who is violating the law to the police].) The statutes in those states were interpreted to permit conviction even though the loiterer had no intent to commit prostitution. Hence, these statutes were struck down because they permitted conviction based on the fact that the defendant was a known prostitute and hence the liability was based on status in violation of the federal constitution. In California, the prostitution/loitering statute (PC 653.22) has been interpreted to require a specific intent to commit prostitution. (People v. Pulliam (98) 62 CA4th 1430, 1434 [73 CR2d 371]; see also FORECITE F 18.61 n1 [Constitutional Challenge To HS 11532: Loitering With Intent To Commit Drug Offense].)