Many voices are commending the State of Texas for passing this landmark legislation. The idea to focus felony punishment on any individual who is purchasing sex is seen by some as a way to combat sex abuse and human trafficking in this country. Explains National Center on Sexual Exploitation CEO Dawn Hawkins:
This is why it is imperative to shrink the commercial sex trade, and the most efficient way to do that, which would solve sex trafficking and so many other ills, is to go after the people driving the demand for exploited persons
“Texas’ new law is a prime way to deter people from engaging in the sex trade and will decrease the demand for prostituted persons, ultimately shrinking the exploitation industry. We are grateful to Texas for implementing a strong solution to combat the demand and to hold men accountable….
“Despite claims that prostitution is a job cougarlife rabatt like any other, the truth is that there is lifelong physical, emotional, and mental trauma, from prostitution. ”
Johns were vulnerable to arrest in Texas before the passage of this new statute. Buying sex has been illegal here for many years, defined in the criminal code within the definition of prostitution found in Texas Penal Code §(a), (b) which defines the crime of prostitution as either (emphasis added):
(b) the person knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with that person or another.
However, under Texas Penal Code §§ – , these offers to buy sex are considered to be misdemeanors, increasing to felony charges only if the accused has been convicted on at least three prior occasions; then the offense raises to a state jail felony. When children are involved, things escalate: it is a third-degree felony to solicit sex from someone between the ages of 14 and 18 years and it is a second-degree felony to do so when someone younger than 14 years of age Is involved. Texas Penal Code §(c).
(1) a Class A misdemeanor if the actor has previously been convicted one or two times of an offense under Subsection (a); or
(2) a state jail felony if the actor has previously been convicted three or more times of an offense under Subsection (a).
(2) a felony of the second degree if the person with whom the actor agrees to engage in sexual conduct is:
(A) younger than 18 years of age, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the person at the time of the offense;
Solicitation of Prostitution Under the New Texas Penal Code §
Under the new Texas law, it remains a crime to solicit prostitution even if no money is exchanged (or other form of payment) and/or no sexual conduct transpires. It remains a crime in Texas merely to ask for sex in exchange for any type of payment. What is changing is the severity of punishment: the new law increases the potential sentence facing anyone convicted of the crime of solicitation of prostitution.
Beginning September 1st, the arrested john will be charged with the new crime of “Solicitation of Prostitution” under Texas Penal Code § and will be facing a state jail felony or a 3 rd degree felony sentence, and if a minor is involved, that of a felony of the second degree:
… the person with whom the actor agrees to engage in sexual conduct is either (1) younger than 18 years of age, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the person at the time of the offense; (2) represented to the actor as being younger than 18 years of age; or (3) believed by the actor to be younger than 18 years of age.