State of Arizona ex rel. Sheila Sullivan Polk, Yavapai County Attorney, Petitioner,
The Honorable Jennifer B. Campbell, Judge of Superior Court of the State of Arizona, in and for the County of Yavapai, Respondent Judge, Francis Frederick Kraps, Real Party in Interest.
Action from the Superior Court in Yavapai County The
Honorable Jennifer B. Campbell, Judge No. CR 201400413
of the Court of Appeals, Division One 238 Ariz. 109, 357 P.3d
144 (App. 2015) VACATED
Sullivan Polk, Yavapai County Attorney, Dennis M. McGrane
(argued), Chief Deputy County Attorney, Bill R. Hughes,
Deputy County Attorney, Prescott, Attorneys for State of
M. Sears (argued), Law Offices of John M. Sears, P.C.,
Prescott, Attorneys for Francis Frederick Kraps
JUSTICE TIMMER authored the opinion of the Court, in which
CHIEF JUSTICE BALES, VICE CHIEF JUSTICE PELANDER, JUSTICE
BOLICK and JUDGE ESPINOSA [*] joined.
Under A.R.S. § 13-3212, enhanced and consecutive
sentencing provisions apply when a defendant is convicted of
engaging in child prostitution knowing that the person is a
minor aged fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen. We today hold that
these provisions also apply when the "minor" is
actually an undercover peace officer.
The State indicted Francis Kraps on two counts of child
prostitution in violation of A.R.S. §
13-3212(B)(2). During a pre-trial hearing, the superior
court advised Kraps that if he was convicted, the court was
required to impose an enhanced sentence between seven and
twenty-one years' imprisonment for each count without the
possibility of early release, and that the sentences would be
served consecutively. See A.R.S. §§
13-3212(D), (G). Kraps moved for reconsideration, asserting
that because the "minors" involved were actually
undercover police officers posing as sixteen-year-old girls,
these sentencing provisions did not apply. The court agreed,
ruling that "engaging in any form of child prostitution
is a Class 2 felony, " but that the enhanced sentencing
and consecutive sentencing provisions apply only when actual
minors are involved. At the State's request, the court
stayed the case to permit special action review.
The court of appeals reversed the trial court's ruling,
holding that the enhanced sentencing provisions in §
13-3212(G) apply when an undercover police officer poses as a
minor aged fifteen, sixteen, or seventeen. State ex rel.
Polk v. Campbell, 238 Ariz. 109, 110 ¶ 1,
357 P.3d 144, 145 (App. 2015). The court did not address
consecutive sentencing under § 13-3212(D). We granted
Kraps's petition for review because it presents a
recurring legal question of statewide importance. We have
jurisdiction pursuant to article 6, section 5 of the Arizona
Constitution and A.R.S. § 12-120.24.
Because the interpretation of § 13-3212 is an issue of
law, we review the trial court's ruling de novo. Cf.
Ariz. Citizens Clean Elections Comm'n v. Brain, 234
Ariz. 322, 325 ¶ 11, 322 P.3d 139, 142 (2014).
Our objective in interpreting statutes is to give effect to
the legislature's intent. Baker v. Univ. Physicians
Healthcare, 231 Ariz. 379, 383 ¶ 8, 296 P.3d 42, 46
(2013). If the statutory language is unambiguous, we apply it
as written without further analysis. Cf. Deer Valley
Unified Sch. Dist. No. 97 v. Houser, 214 Ariz. 293, 296
¶ 8, 152 P.3d 490, 493 (2007). If, however, the statute
is subject to more than one reasonable interpretation, we
consider secondary principles of statutory interpretation,
such as "the context of the statute, the language used,
the subject matter, its historical background, its effects
and consequences, and its spirit and purpose." Ariz.
Citizens Clean Elections Comm'n, 234 Ariz. at 325
¶ 11, 322 P.3d at 142 (quoting Wyatt v.
Wehmueller, 167 Ariz. 281, 284, 806 P.2d 870, 873
A person commits child prostitution by causing or enabling a
minor to engage in prostitution, § 13-3212(A), or by
engaging in prostitution with a minor, § 13-3212(B).
Kraps is charged with committing child prostitution in
violation of § 13-3212(B)(2), which provides that
"[a] person who is at least eighteen years of age
commits child prostitution by knowingly . . . [e]ngaging in
prostitution with a minor who the person knows is fifteen,
sixteen or seventeen years of age." Although the
undercover police officers involved here were over age
eighteen, "[i]t is not a defense to a prosecution"
under subsection (B)(2) "that the other person is a
peace officer posing as a minor or a person assisting a ...