Texas Prostitution Law Changes

I occasionally peek into the Texas Legislature to see what our government is up to. 82(R) HB 36 which has taken the Texas Penal Code as it applies to prostitution and rewritten it. You know, changed some words around, added a few paragraphs here and there and some amendments, made it harder to read and understand to my simple non legal way of thinking… It appears they have kept the basics but have added for cases of under age prostitution and added stiff penalties for the customers.

Currently:

§ 43.02. PROSTITUTION. (a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly: (1) offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct for a fee; or (2) solicits another in a public place to engage with him in sexual conduct for hire.

How about, while we are rewriting laws anyway we change the above to read:

§ 43.02. PROSTITUTION. (a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly: (1) offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct for a fee and is under the age 17; or (2) solicits another who is under the age of 17 in a public place to engage with him in sexual conduct for hire.

In effect, this keeps underage prostitution illegal while allowing consenting adults to engage in this activity if they so choose… because we are grown ups. But what about women who are OVER the age of consent who are still being forced to do this? Well, we could change this

§ 43.03. PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION. (a) A person commits an offense if, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he or she knowingly: (1) receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement to participate in the proceeds of prostitution; or (2) solicits another to engage in sexual conduct with another person for compensation.

To this

§ 43.03. PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION. (a) A person commits an offense if, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he or she knowingly and through the use of force, fraud, or coercion: (1) receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement to participate in the proceeds of prostitution; or (2) solicits another through the use of force, fraud, or coercion to engage in sexual conduct with another person for compensation.

Now makes sense to me but as we all know I’m not some lawhead, bill writer, government type of person. Though out of the mouths of babes so to speak.

I’m digressing again though aren’t I? Ok back to the original point of this post…

As of September 1, 2011, changes in the Texas Penal Code will be as follows:

Currently:

(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, unless the actor has previously been convicted one or two times of an offense under this section, in which event it is a Class A misdemeanor. If the actor has previously been convicted three or more times of an offense under this section, the offense is a state jail felony.

So basically it’s equal footing on whether you are the client or the prostitute. Same crime, same penalties. On September 1, 2011:

(c) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor,
except that the offense is: (1) a Class A misdemeanor if the actor has
previously been convicted one or two times of an offense under this
section; (2) a state jail felony if the actor has previously been convicted
three or more times of an offense under this section; or (3) a felony of the third degree if:  (A) the actor is the person who is to pay the fee
or who solicits another for hire; and (B) the person who is to receive the fee or who is solicited to be hired is younger than 17 years of age at the time of
the offense.

The rest of the changes follow the same line of thinking. Many things have been added to increase define and increase penalties against persons who hire or solicit or profit from persons under the age of 17.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Texas Prostitution Law Changes

  1. In other words, the State of Texas has quietly installed the even more disgusting American version of the Swedish model by making prostitution a misdemeanor for whores but a felony for clients. Keep it up, Texas; I’m sure you’ll get your whole population in prison sooner or later! But once you’ve accomplished that, who’s gonna pay for it all?

    • bdevereaux

      Either all in prison or broke from civil or federal forfeiture laws. From the way I understand it though, it’s a felony for a client to hire a prostitute AND that prostitute is under 17. Not quite Swedish model YET. One thing the law doesn’t say is if the client knows or does not know if the person is under 17.

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