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Pandering Q. and P.

Defendant relies on a recent case from Division Three of this District, People v. Wagner (2009) 170 Cal.App.4th 499 (Wagner), for the proposition that he could not have pandered Q. “to become” a prostitute because she was already “actively seeking work” as one when he contacted her.  In Wagner, the defendant pimp was charged with violating section 266i after he called out to a streetwalker to come and work for him.  (Wagner, at pp. 502-504.)  On appeal from his conviction under subdivision (a)(2) of the statute, the defendant contended that the trial court erred when it gave a modified instruction which added language specifying that pandering occurs when “the defendant encourages or solicits one who is already a prostitute to ‘change her business relationship.’”  (Wagner, at p. 502.) The Court of Appeal reversed his conviction, acknowledging as it did so that its interpretation conflicted with established case law, which it characterized as “utterly unconvincing.”  (Id. at p. 506.)  Among the cases Wagner found unconvincing were People v. Bradshaw (1973) 31 Cal.App.3d 421 (Bradshaw); Hashimoto, supra, 54 Cal.App.3d 862; and People v. Patton (1976) 63 Cal.App.3d 211 (Patton) (Fourth Dist., Div. Two).  (Wagner, at p. 506.)  All the earlier decisions were wrong, the Wagner court said, because it was impossible to solicit a woman who was “currently a prostitute” to become one.  (Id. at pp. 509-510.)  “If the Legislature had wanted a more broadly applicable provision,” the Wagner court suggested, “it could have easily replaced the phrase ‘become a prostitute’ with the phrase ‘engage in prostitution.’”  (Id. at p. 509.)

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