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Feds Don't Have to Prove Pimp Knew Child Prostitute Was Under 18

By Robyn Hagan Cain on July 03, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Both Big Daddy Kane and Ice-T have lamented the fact that pimpin' ain't easy, but the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals just made the hard knock life a little harder for a pimp convicted on federal prostitution inducement charges in Florida.

Federal law prohibits "knowingly" persuading, inducing, enticing, or coercing a minor to engage in prostitution; violators face a minimum of 10 years in prison. When Robert Daniels, a.k.a. "Twin T," was convicted of inducing a 14-year-old into prostitution, his lawyers argued that the conviction shouldn't stick because Daniels didn't know that she was a child prostitute, reports The Wall Street Journal.

(Nevermind that fact that he knew he was inducing someone into prostitution, which is, in itself, shady.)

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals mulled Daniels' argument, and decided that its six sister circuits couldn't be wrong in their child exploitation law interpretations.

The Atlanta-based appellate court noted that six circuits had agreed that the government does not have to prove that a defendant knew that a child was under 18 to prove a travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct charge. The court concluded that the same reasoning should apply to the child prostitution inducement charge.

The Eleventh Circuit, citing Justice Samuel Alito's concurring opinion in Flores-Figueroa v. U.S., decided it's the spirit of the law that matters most in these types of situations, concluding, "We honor the congressional goal inherent in the Child Protection and Sexual Predator Punishment Act of 1998, and reach a holding that aims to protect minors -- not make conviction more difficult for crimes that affect them."

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