Former State Senator Richard Katz: Existing law prohibits loitering under specified circumstances, including loitering upon the private property of another without visible or lawful business with the owner or occupant thereof, or loitering in or about any public toilet for the purpose of engaging in or soliciting a lewd, lascivious, or unlawful act.
This new law makes it a misdemeanor to loiter in any public place in a manner and under circumstances manifesting the purpose and ... with the intent to commit prostitution.
653.20. (a) This chapter is enacted for the purpose of assisting local law enforcement in controlling prostitution-related activities and to minimize the adverse effect these activities have upon local communities.
(b) The Legislature finds and determines that loitering for the purposes of engaging in a prostitution offense constitutes a public nuisance which, if left unabated, adversely affects a community's image, public safety, and residential and business development, and tends to encourage further criminal activity. Furthermore, prostitution-related activities consume an inordinate amount of limited law enforcement resources.
653.22. For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:
(a) "Commit prostitution" means to engage in sexual conduct for money or other consideration, but does not include sexual conduct engaged in as a part of any stage performance, play, or other entertainment open to the public.
(b) "Public place" means an area open to the public, or an alley, plaza, park, driveway, or parking lot, or an automobile, whether moving or not, or a building open to the general public, including one which serves food or drink, or provides entertainment, or the doorways and entrances to a building or dwelling, or the grounds enclosing a building or dwelling.
(C) "Loiter" means to delay or linger without a lawful purpose for being on the property and for the purpose of committing a crime as opportunity may be discovered.
653.24. (a) it is unlawful for any person to loiter in, on, or near any public place with the intent to commit prostitution. This intent is evidenced by acting in a manner and under circumstances which openly demonstrate the purpose of inducing, enticing, or soliciting prostitution, or procuring another to commit prostitution.
(b) Among the circumstances that may be considered in determining whether a person loiters with the intent to commit prostitution are that the person: [editor's note: the police are not limited to these ambiguous circumstances, nor do they have to use any of the recommended circumstances.... whatever they deem as intent is up to their discretion!]
(l) Repeatedly beckons to, stops, engages in conversations with, or attempts to stop or engage in conversations with passersby.
(2) Repeatedly stops or attempts to stop motor vehicles by hailing the drivers, waving arms, or making any other bodily gestures. or engages or attempts to engage the drivers or passengers of the motor vehicles in conversation.
(3) Has been convicted of violating this section, subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 647, or any other offense relating to or involving prostitution, within five years of the arrest under this section.
(4) Circles an area in a motor vehicle and repeatedly beckons to, contacts, or attempts to contact or stop pedestrians or other motorists.
(5) Loiters in an area that is known for prostitution activity.
(6) Has engaged, within six months prior to the arrest under this section, in any behavior described in this subdivision, with the exception of paragraph (3), or in any other behavior indicative of prostitution activity.
(c) The list of circumstances set forth in subdivision (b) is not exclusive. Any other relevant circumstances may be considered in determining whether a person has the requisite intent. Moreover, no one circumstance or combination of circumstances is in itself determinative of intent. Intent must be determined based on an evaluation of the particular circumstances of each case.
653.26. If any section, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, that portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct, and independent provision, and that holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portion of the chapter.
653.28. A violation of any provision of this chapter is a misdemeanor.