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Name: People v. Zambia
Case #: S173490
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/02/2011

Pandering conviction is supported even though the person who is encouraged by defendant to become a prostitute is already a prostitute. Zambia approached an undercover police officer and encouraged her to allow him to be her pimp. He was convicted of pandering under Penal Code section 266i, subdivision (a)(2). Zambia argued that the phrase “to become a prostitute” in section 266i, subdivision (a)(2) does not include encouraging a person who is already a prostitute or is posing as a prostitute. The Supreme Court found that, when considered with the other provisions of section 266i, the legislative purpose behind subdivision (a)(2) “is to prohibit a person from encouraging a prostitute to work under his aegis or that of someone else, regardless whether the target being solicited is already a working prostitute.” The purpose behind all of the subdivisions of section 266i “is to deter pimps or others from establishing new working relationships in the unlawful prostitution trade.” Accordingly, the prohibited conduct of encouraging someone “to become a prostitute” as provided in section 266i, subdivision (a)(2), includes acts directed towards a person who is already a prostitute or an undercover police officer.

Pandering is a specific intent offense. The commission of pandering requires the defendant to encourage or persuade others “to become a prostitute.” This criminalizes the knowing and purposeful act of seeking to encourage another person to work with the panderer or pimp as a prostitute.