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Allen v. Stratton
United States District Court for the Central District of California
428 F. Supp. 2d 1064 (2006)
Troy Allen (plaintiff) employed two prostitutes, Tyona Dodson and Shannan Bryant. Allen arranged trips for Dodson and Bryant to prostitute themselves in California and Nevada. Dodson and Bryant paid Allen a portion of their prostitution earnings for acting as their pimp. Dodson and Bryant were stopped by police in California on suspicion of prostitution. When questioned, Bryant and Dodson admitted to working for Allen as prostitutes. Allen was arrested and charged with pimping. Allen was convicted following a jury trial and, because he had four prior felony convictions for which he served prison time, he was sentenced under California’s three-strikes law to 54 years to life in prison. Allen appealed. Both the appellate court and the California Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence. Allen then filed a habeas corpus petition in federal district court, arguing that his conviction should be reversed because California’s pimping statute (1) was facially overbroad because it applied to anyone who derived financial benefit from a prostitute’s earnings, no matter how indirectly; and (2) violated Allen’s equal-protection rights because it punished pimping as a felony but charged other prostitution-related crimes as misdemeanors.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Schiavelli, J.)
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