Trafficked in Texas: Combatting the Sex-Trafficking Epidemic Through Prostitution Law and Sentencing Reform in the Lone Star State
American law has historically treated prostitution as a victimless crime, a moral trespass between two consenting individuals, rather than a potential act of violence, a product of fraud or coercion. However, growing awareness of the international sex-trafficking epidemic has brought long-settled prostitution law once more under the critical eye of academics and lawmakers as a potential tool in curbing the still- growing demand for illicit commercial sex. Whether prostitution law reform may in fact be effective remains a matter of academic debate in the United States; however, such reform has gained substantial ground abroad, with compelling results. This Note argues for “demand-centric” prostitution law reform in the United States that prioritizes enforcement efforts and sentencing against pimps and purchasers of commercial sex. Moreover, this Note argues that Texas, already a pioneer of late in state prostitution and sex-trafficking legislative reform, is the ideal jurisdiction to initiate such legal change.
Madison T. Santana