Aggravated Promotion Of Prostitution In Texas

Through offenses like aggravated promotion of prostitution, Texas has come down hard on allegations of pimping. Aggravated promotion of prostitution in Texas is an offense in which a person is accused of running or helping run a prostitution business with at least two prostitutes. As of 2019, this is aggravated promotion of prostitution is a first-degree felony.

If you or a family member is being investigated for aggravated promotion of prostitution, it’s essential to consult with legal counsel as soon as possible. Varghese Summersett sex crimes defense attorneys are Board Certified and former prosecutors, and they will protect your rights. The Texas Penal Code describes aggravted promotion of prostitution under “Offenses against Public Order and Decency.” In this post, we’ll explain aggravated promotion of prostitution, the punishment for conviction, and explain how the penalties have changed in recent years.

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What is Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution in Texas?

In Texas, “Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution” is defined as an offense where an individual knowingly owns, invests in, finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes. This is detailed under Texas Penal Code § 43.04.

Overview of Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution:

Statute: Texas Penal Code § 43.04 Key Elements:

  • Ownership or Control: The person must have some level of ownership, investment, financial interest, or managerial control over the enterprise.
  • Use of Two or More Prostitutes: The enterprise must involve two or more individuals engaging in prostitution.
  • Knowledge: The person must be aware that the activities being managed or controlled involve prostitution.

Legal Implications:

  • Severity: Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution is classified as a second-degree felony in Texas.
  • Penalties: A second-degree felony in Texas carries a penalty of 2 to 20 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

Context and Examples:

  • Aggravated vs. Simple Promotion: The key difference between simple promotion and aggravated promotion lies in the scale of the operation. Simple promotion might involve fewer individuals or a less formalized role in the management of the prostitution activities.
  • Example Scenario: If a person manages a brothel where multiple individuals are engaged in prostitution and the person has a direct role in controlling or supervising the activities, this could constitute aggravated promotion.

Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution can be online or in person conduct

What does Texas consider aggravated promotion of prostitution?

According to Texas Penal Code § 43.04, a person commits aggravated promotion of prostitution if they “knowingly” manage, own, supervise, control, or finances a prostitution business or enterprise.
Aggravated promotion of prostitution is a separate charge from the promotion of prostitution, not just an enhanced version of the charge.

A “prostitution enterprise,” as described in Texas law, is a venture, design, or plan in which at least two people agree to, then offer, or engage in the provision of sexual favors for compensation.

A person could be accused of aggravated promotion of prostitution if they knowingly:

  • Engage at least two prostitutes in the prostitution enterprise
  • Controls, supervises, finances, manages, owns, or invests in a prostitution business or enterprise

The difference between Promotion of Prostitution and Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution

The primary difference between Promotion of Prostitution and Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution is the number of prostitutes involved. Promotion of Prostitution involves the promotion of one prostitute, while Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution involves the promotion of two or more prostitutes. Additionally, Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution involves the management or supervision of the prostitutes, whereas Promotion of Prostitution only involves promoting or soliciting the services of a prostitute.

What is the punishment for Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution?

Aggravated promotion of prostitution offenses occurring since Sept. 1, 2019, are charged as first-degree felonies. Offenses occurring before Sept. 1, 2017, are charged as third-degree felonies, with a maximum 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Offenses occurring since September 2017 are charged as second-degree felonies.

Aggravated promotion of prostitution can also be punished as a first-degree if the victim is under 18. It doesn’t matter if the defendant knew the age of the minor or was given a false age.

Factors considered in Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution cases

When determining whether to charge someone with Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution, prosecutors will consider a variety of factors, including the number of prostitutes involved, the length of time the prostitution enterprise has been in operation, and the amount of money involved in the enterprise. Additionally, prosecutors may consider whether there was any coercion or force involved in the operation of the prostitution enterprise.

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How did Texas law on aggravated promotion of prostitution change in 2019?

On Sept. 1, 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature added aggravated promotion of prostitution to the list of “reportable” offenses. This means convictions or deferred pleas require registration as a sex offender. The same bill also increased the penalties for aggravated promotion of prostitution. A defendant could possibly be charged with “simple” prostitution, aggravated promotion of prostitution, or potentially compelling prostitution if the state alleges the use of force or the prostitute was underage.

Defenses against Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution charges

If you have been charged with Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution, there are a few defenses that you may be able to use. One possible defense is that you did not know that the enterprise involved prostitution. Additionally, if you were coerced or forced into managing or supervising the prostitution enterprise, you may be able to use this as a defense.

Examples of Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution cases in Texas

One high-profile case of Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution in Texas involved the owners of several massage parlors in Houston. The owners were accused of running a prostitution enterprise that involved multiple massage parlors and dozens of prostitutes. In another case, a man in Dallas was accused of operating an escort service that was actually a front for prostitution.

Are you facing aggravated promotion of prostitution in Fort Worth?

If you or a loved one is facing an aggravated promotion of prostitution charge, consult with an experienced Fort Worth aggravated promotion of prostitution lawyer as soon as possible.
The defense firm at Varghese Summersett has decades of experience fighting sex crimes.

For a free consultation on your case, call us at 817-203-2220.

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