For years, websites such as Back. It is not uncommon for police officers to call off of Back.
These tactics are similar to those used by police officers who use apps like Kik, Snapchat, and Whisper to set up stings that lead to arrests for online solicitation. Also rooted in DFW are more provocative businesses, including back.
At first glance, Back. It advertises itself as a free medium for individuals to post for services, goods, living arrangements, and the like. Similar sites recognized these dangers long ago.
Craigslist shut down its adult services section inwhich had led to escorts and prostitutes listings moving to personal and theraputic service. While the change also resulted in many listings moving to Back. When dealing with prostitution-based cases in Texas, there is usually any combination of three main players — johns, prostitutes, and pimps. Leading the prostitutes are pimps — the so-called ringleaders in the prostitution world.
In most cases, a pimp controls multiple prostitutes at any given time. If discovered by authorities, johns, prostitutes, and pimps are all criminally liable for their actions.
Prostitution is addressed in Section Prostitution charges can arise from sex acts in exchange for money or an agreement for sex acts in exchange of money. Many people are under the misimpression that officers cannot lie to you, or believe there must be an actual sex act to face prostitution charges in Texas. Neither are true. Similarly, many prostitutes believe if the john exposes himself prior to making an agreement, that excludes the possibility that the john is an undercover law enforcement agent.
This is also untrue, and it is common for undercover officers to carry devices used to deceive prostitutes that may ask this question. Finally, an actual exchange of money is not required to complete the offense.
This means that any player in the prostitution game, whether as the john or the prostitute, can find themselves criminally liable regardless of paying any fees or performing any acts. The penalty for a prostitution charge varies greatly depending on the circumstances and criminal history of the actor.
However, the punishment increases if an actor has been ly convicted for prostitution. Recently in North Texas, authorities have been cracking down on online solicitation of minors. Just last montheight individuals were arrested for charges including solicitation of a minor and prostitution in Fort Worth.
In an undercover operation, officers posed as a year old female on various online websites.
Upon arrival, the individuals, whose ages ranged from 21 to 55, were met by officers and apprehended. This sting illustrates how the actual exchanging of sexual favors never has to happen to face criminal charges in Texas.
Furthermore, with the ever-evolving world of online communication, prostitution, which Rudyard Kipling deemed the oldest profession in the world, does not appear to be decreasing any time soon. In fact, officials expect a growth in local prostitution. Special Crimes Unit Commander Adam King of Johnson County spoke on the issue last year after posing as a john in a sting that led to the arrest of 14 individuals on prostitution charges.
Under the Texas Penal Code, a person who engages in promotion could face any or all of three statutes. The less serious offense is found in Section A more serious promotion offense is Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution which is defined in Section Here, a person commits an offense if he knowingly owns, invests in, finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes.
Here, A person commits an offense if the person knowingly: 1 causes another by force, threat, or fraud to commit prostitution; or 2 causes by any means younger than 18 years to commit prostitution, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the child at the time the actor commits the offense. This section is unique in that it can be charged independently, or along with any other charge in Section So, if an individual acts meet the components of both Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution and Compelling Prostitution, the individual may face charges of both, which could result in a much harsher punishment.
A simple internet search shows that these charges are prevalent in Texas. Last year in San Antonio, Steven Sumlin was arrested for aggravated promotion of prostitution. Authorities alleged that Sumlin was responsible for forcing nearly 30 women into prostitution. Sumlin would target college-age women across Texas and lure them from their college campuses and through internet. Officers stated that once the women began working, Sumlin would use intimidation to keep them working.
The issue extends from a state issue into the federal system as well. In July, Dallas News reported a Fort Worth pimp who recruited an underage girl on Facebook by sending her a friend request and encouraging her to run away from home. The underage girl was trained along with another female and the pair placed on Back.
The girl ultimately escaped Hennessey and led authorities to his home, where he was apprehended on federal charges.
In Texas, trafficking of persons is defined in Section 20A. Subsection 3 and 4 address the type of issues Back. Subsection 3 and 4 define the offense as any person who traffics another person and, through force, fraud, or coercion, causes the trafficked person to engage in conduct prohibited by: A Section Trafficking is, unfortunately, prevalent in Texas, ranking second nationally in human trafficking cases reported.
The overwhelming majority of those cases are sex trafficking cases. According to Dawn Hawkins, executive director for the National Center on Sexual ExploitationBack posts one million sex a day.
A few days later, they were sold to Keys in a parking lot. Despite the prevalent use of Back. Nonetheless, the initial grounds for the back bust were rooted in allegations of child sex trafficking in reports from the Nation Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
No word yet, on whether the activities will give rise to federal human trafficking charges. Update: In AprilBack.
The Department of Justice has also shut down the website. Call us at or reach out online for a complimentary strategy session. Our team of former prosecutors and Board Certified Criminal Lawyers are here to help. During this call we will:. For women who are ready to get out of the life and are facing a criminal offense, Tarrant County offers an excellent diversion program called the RISE program which aims at providing these women with a safe place to stay, a way to get on their feet, and an opportunity for a changed life.
Admission into the RISE program is difficult and there are a limited of spots available. Fort Worth Grapevine.