What's a Pimp? California High Court Grapples With Definition

Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011  |  Updated 3:08 PM PDT
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California Supreme Court: What's a Pimp?

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The California Supreme Court is grappling with when exactly someone becomes a pimp.

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The California Supreme Court is grappling with when exactly someone becomes a pimp.

On Tuesday, the justices heard the case of Jomo Zambia, who was convicted of pandering in Los Angeles after he tried to recruit an undercover police officer to work as a prostitute for him.

Zambia's lawyer is urging the high court to toss out the conviction, arguing that only pimps who recruit innocent victims -- rather than working prostitutes -- can be guilty of pandering.

Attorney Vanessa Place says the court should give the pandering law a literal reading.

The law states that a person who encourages another to become a prostitute is guilty of pandering. Place argues that the case boils down to the word "become."

The court will rule within 90 days.

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