Texas Laws for Sex Crimes

Texas Laws for Sex Crimes

Texas takes sex crimes seriously. Anyone facing accusations of sex crimes involving children, sexual assault, improper pornography, or prostitution may face steep fines, lengthy prison sentences, and mandatory inclusion on the state’s sex offenders register. Understanding what the penal code says about various sex crimes can help you know how to approach your defense. 

Texas Laws Regarding Sex Crimes Involving Children

Participation in a sexual act with anyone under the age of 18 is illegal. The following sex crimes involving children appear in the Texas Penal Code: 

  • Criminal Solicitation of a Minor – Requesting, commanding, or attempting to induce a minor into committing a sexual act is illegal under Texas Penal Code § 15.031.
  • Indecency with a Child – According to Texas Penal Code § 21.11, it is illegal to engage in sexual contact with a child, to expose their private areas to a child for sexual gratification, or to cause the child to expose themselves.
  • Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children –  Texas Penal Code § 21.02 cites “continuous sexual abuse” as two or more sexual acts with a child within a 30-day timespan.
  • Human Trafficking; Sexual Trafficking of a Child –  Texas Penal Code § 20A.02 (a) (7) and (8) bars individuals from concealing a child from the police or smuggling them across international borders for sexual gratification.
  • Sexual Performance by a Child Texas Penal Code § 43.25 makes it a crime for a person to knowingly employ, authorize, or induce a child to engage in sexual contact or a sexual performance.
  • Employment Harmful to Children – According to Texas Penal Code § 43.251, it is a felony to employ anyone under the age of 21 in any sexually oriented commercial activity or in a job that requires or requests them to be nude or topless.
  • Compelling Prostitution Child Younger than 18 – Causing a child under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution is a crime under Texas Penal Code § 43.05(a) (2).
  • Improper Relationship between Educator and Student – Anyone who is employed by a public or private primary or secondary school is barred from engaging in sexual activity with a student at that school under Texas Penal Code § 21.12.

Texas Laws Regarding Sex Crimes Involving Sexual Assault

Texas criminal statutes employ the term “sexual assault” rather than “rape” as a crime under state laws. Relevant crimes include: 

  • Sexual Assault Texas Penal Code § 22.011 makes it a crime for a person to penetrate another person’s sexual organ or anus, to use a sexual organ to penetrate another person’s mouth, or to make another person’s sexual organ contact the actor’s mouth, anus, or sexual organ without consent.
  • Aggravated Sexual Assault – If the person causes bodily injury or threatens another while committing sexual assault, the crime and penalties are enhanced under Texas Penal Code § 22.021.

Texas Laws Regarding Sex Crimes Involving Pornography

Texas has the following laws about pornography. 

  • Improper Photography or Visual Recording – It is a state jail felony under Texas Penal Code § 21.15 to record, transmit, or broadcast video or photographs of another person’s intimate areas or their presence in a changing room or bathroom.
  • Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography – Holding, possessing, owning, creating, storing, or participating in pornography involving minors is illegal according to Texas Penal Code § 43.26.
  • Obscene Display or Distribution –  It is a crime to display or distribute obscene materials with reckless regard for whether they will offend others, according to Texas Penal Code § 43.22.
  • Sale, Distribution, or Display of Harmful Material to a Minor Texas Penal Code § 43.24 makes it illegal to sell, distribute, or display materials regarding sex, nudity, or excretion to a minor. 

Texas Laws Regarding Sex Crimes Involving Prostitution

Texas Laws for Sex CrimesProstitution laws in Texas are as follows: 

  • Prostitution – It is illegal to offer or request a fee for sexual services under Texas Penal Code § 43.02.
  • Promotion of Prostitution Texas Penal Code § 43.03 makes it a crime to request or receive money as a result of another individual’s prostitution activities.
  • Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution – The crime becomes aggravated if an individual runs an enterprise promoting two or more other people’s prostitution services, according to Texas Penal Code § 43.04.
  • Compelling Prostitution – It is a crime to forcefully or fraudulently make another individual engage in prostitution. Texas Penal Code § 43.05 also makes it a crime to cause a minor or disabled person to engage in prostitution by any means. 

Contact a Texas Sex Crimes Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing sex crime charges, you need the help of an attorney with a wealth of experience and knowledge in this area of the law. Contact the seasoned lawyers at Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter by calling (214) 845-7007 for a free consultation.

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