Texas Set to Become First State to Make Buying Sex a Felony

Texas Set to Become First State to Make Buying Sex a Felony by Karen Townsend

(Link): Texas Set to Become First State to Make Buying Sex a Felony

by Karen Townsend
Aug. 15, 2021

On September 1, Texas will become the first state to make buying sex from prostitutes a felony. This is a shift away from blaming the prostitutes and putting the focus on “johns” in an attempt to mitigate human trafficking. The law makes the crime a state jail felony.

House Bill 1540 passed the House and Senate unanimously during the spring legislative session.

It is the first state law in the country that makes it a felony to buy sex from an adult.

The bill also expands the definition of human trafficking which is a first-degree felony in Texas. It includes those who recruit trafficking victims from places like residential treatment centers.

Adults exploit homeless minors and foster children in these facilities who are being treated for violence and assault. They prey on the most vulnerable.

The bill is an attempt to deter human trafficking. Sex trafficking remains a big problem in Texas, particularly in Houston, even during the pandemic.

…The law also establishes a Class A misdemeanor charge — punishable with up to a year in jail — for those who trespass on treatment center properties. The task force notes a need for more protection for minors at treatment facilities. It says pimps freely approach minors on the grounds of treatment centers and sell them drugs.

…House Bill 1540 is receiving attention, not just because it provides more protection for minors in treatment centers but also because the johns will receive harsher penalties as a determent against buying or soliciting sex.

Those were just a few excerpts; (Link): see here for the rest.


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