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Trafficked in Texas: Combatting the Sex-Trafficking Epidemic Through Prostitution Law and Sentencing Reform in the Lone Star State

Posted by on Friday, October 19, 2018 in Notes, Volume 71, Volume 71, Number 5.


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