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Wooten v. Superior Court of San Bernardino County

California Court of Appeal
93 Cal. App. 4th 422 (2001)


Facts

Officer Valdivia and Officer Aranda conducted an undercover operation at a strip club known as The Flesh Club (the club). In addition to a main stage where nude dancers performed, the club also had a number of semi-private booths where customers could pay to watch dancers perform sexual acts on each other. The dancers did not perform sexual acts with the customers. During their visits to the club, the officers went into the semi-private booths. The booth experience cost $120 per dancer, with $75 going to the dancer and $45 to management. On one occasion, Officer Aranda was offered a hand job by one of the dancers. There was no evidence that management of the club was aware of this offer or that offers of that kind were common practice. After the officers visited the club five times, police executed a search warrant. Brent Wooten and Daniel Mendoza (defendants), both managers at the club, were charged with pimping and pandering. After an information, or formal criminal charge, containing the charges was filed, the defendants moved to set aside the information on the ground that there was no underlying prostitution to support pimping and pandering charges. The defendants relied on the fact that the dancers never had sexual contact with the club’s customers. The trial court declined to set aside the information, and the defendants appealed.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ward, J.)

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Dissent (Richli, J.)

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