WHAT IS AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against aggravated promotion of prostitution prohibits managing or controlling two or more prostitutes, including soliciting clients, and accepting money on their behalf. A pimp who only manages or controls one prostitute may be charged with promotion of prostitution.
WHAT IS THE AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 43.04. AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION.
(a) 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.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the first degree.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
Aggravated promotion of prostitution is a first degree felony, punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for aggravated promotion of prostitution, a first degree felony, is five to 99 years or life in prison, and a maximum fine of $10,000
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
A person convicted of aggravated promotion of prostitution is not eligible for probation, so a guilty finding by a judge or jury results in a prison sentence. The law creates an exception for a person who promoted prostitution as a victim of human trafficking, who may receive probation after a conviction.
A person charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution may be eligible for deferred adjudication from a judge for up to ten years, after a plea of guilty or nolo contendere (“no contest”).
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
Although there are no listed statutory defenses for aggravated promotion of prostitution, a person may attempt to negate one or more of the elements the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
- What if a person unknowingly invests in a prostitution enterprise? The State must show the accused “knowingly” owned, controlled, managed, financed, supervised, or invested in a prostitution enterprise. If a person invests in a business, such as a massage parlor, that is later exposed as a prostitution enterprise, the State will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the investor knew the illicit nature of the business. If the investor took steps to promote the business, a jury may conclude he or she had more than a passive knowledge about ongoing prostitution.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for aggravated promotion of prostitution is three years.
AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION IN TEXAS
Managing, owning, or investing in a prostitution enterprise, which consists of two or more prostitutes, is a first degree felony in Texas. The Legislature aims to combat human trafficking with the increased penalty for such conduct.
TEXAS AGGRAVATED PROMOTION OF PROSTITUTION COURT CASES
The case law regarding aggravated promotion of prostitution in Texas illustrates how the law requires proof the accused had more than just “passive knowledge” of the prostitution enterprise to be convicted of this crime.
- In Jimenez v. State, a defendant charged with aggravated promotion of prostitution hired several women to work as masseuses. One girl testified the defendant made her charge $160 per hour for massages, which required a “happy ending.” She could charge more if the customer wanted her naked during the massage. The defendant also posted ads online with the girls’ photos, and scheduled appointments. An undercover officer got a massage from two women during a police sting. The defendant was convicted of knowingly managing a prostitution enterprise, and the appellate court affirmed.