Massage Parlors and Prostitution
Numerous businesses in the greater Houston area provide massage services. Unfortunately, these types of establishments operate under the stereotype that they also offer illegal activities, namely prostitution.
In many cases, this stereotype has no validity. Nevertheless, law enforcement officers will aggressively set up sting operations that target and ensnare unsuspecting alleged offenders. A person who has been arrested on the basis of these types of criminal charges will not only face possibly serious penalties but also suffers the tremendous embarrassment of having such an offense listed on his or her public record.
Houston Massage Parlors Prostitution Lawyer
If you were recently arrested for an alleged prostitution offense while patronizing or working in a massage parlor in Southeast Texas, make sure that you have experienced legal counsel. Horak Law defends clients in such communities as Richmond-Rosenberg, Pearland, The Woodlands, Conroe, Missouri City, Spring, League City, Pasadena, Sugar Land, and Galveston.
Harris County massage parlor prostitution attorney Matt Horak’s more than 12 years of experience includes time spent prosecuting these cases as a former Assistant District Attorney for Harris County as well as defending alleged offenders accused of sex crimes since opening his own firm. You can have him provide a complete evaluation of your case by calling our firm at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at [phone-tollfree] to arrange a confidential consultation.
Harris County Massage Parlors Prostitution Center
- How can somebody be charged with this crime in a massage parlor?
- What are the possible sentences an alleged offender could receive?
- Do people accused of prostitution have any legal defenses?
- Is there any help available for victims forced into prostitution in these cases?
Massage Parlors and Prostitution Charges in Texas
A person can be arrested for prostitution under Texas Penal Code § 43.02 if he or she knowingly offers to engage, agrees to engage, or engages in sexual conduct for a fee or solicits another person in a public place to engage with the person in sexual conduct for hire.
An alleged offender can be charged with a prostitution offense whether he or she is receiving or paying a fee for sexual conduct, or whether he or she solicits a person to hire him or her or offers to hire the person solicited.
A public place is defined in Texas Penal Code § 1.07(40) as being any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access. The definition of “public place” includes shops such as massage parlors. The grading of these criminal charges depends on whether the alleged offender has been previously convicted of a prostitution crime.
Generally, this offense is classified as follows:
- First Conviction — Class B misdemeanor;
- Second or Third Conviction — Class A misdemeanor; or
- Fourth or Subsequent Conviction — State jail felony.
A “john” (the slang term for a person who solicits a prostitute) can face second-degree felony charges if he or she solicits a person who is younger than 18 years of age. In such cases, it does not matter whether the alleged offender knew the actual age of the person being solicited at the time of the alleged offense.
Massage Parlor Prostitution Penalties in Harris County
When a person has been arrested for any kind of prostitution offense, there is an immediate sense of great shame. When an arrest occurs at a massage parlor, police usually make sure that local press and media are made aware of the crime and there is further humiliation brought about by the publicizing of the alleged incident.
Alleged offenders can frequently find themselves in extremely difficult situations well before they even step into courtrooms. Johns accused of these crimes not only face personal problems with their marriages or family relations, but they can also be subject to uncomfortable questioning by their employers.
All of this is not to mention the possible punishments that may result from a conviction. Depending on the grade of the alleged crime, the penalties may include:
- Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $2,000;
- Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or fine of up to $4,000;
- State Jail Felony — Minimum of 180 days up to two years in state jail and/or fine of up to $10,000; or
- Second-Degree Felony — Minimum of two years up to 20 years imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and/or fine of up to $10,000.
Texas Massage Parlor Prostitution Defenses
When a person has been charged with a prostitution offense stemming from a massage parlor visit, a conviction could potentially cause an entire lifetime of problems. For this reason, all alleged offenders should make sure that they are working with a lawyer who will examine all possible defenses and aggressively pursue the avenue that has the best possible chance of obtaining a favorable outcome.
In these cases, a multitude of different factors may provide a unique defense claim. Generally, some of the most common claims may include, but are not limited to:
- No agreement or offer for sexual conduct;
- No criminal intent or police misunderstanding;
- Lack of evidence; and
- Miranda rights violation or denial of right to counsel.
Harris County Massage Parlor Prostitution Resources
Free the Captives — This is a faith-based, anti-human trafficking non-profit that partners with nonprofits, law enforcement, and government agencies to fight the exploitation and trafficking of Houston’s youth. The website has information about the organization’s work, upcoming events, and ways to take action.
2211 Rayford Road
Spring, TX 77386
Coalition Against Human Trafficking – Houston — Through an Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) grant, YMCA International Services provides direct services to victims of trafficking, trains law enforcement, provides community education and outreach, and facilitates this organization. The coalition works to increase community awareness of human trafficking and coordinate the identification, assistance and protection of victims through community education, advocacy, provision of culturally and linguistically sensitive victim services, and efforts to ensure the investigation and prosecution of human traffickers.
6300 Westpark Suite 600
Houston, Texas 77057
Find a Massage Parlors and Prostitution Lawyer in Houston
Were you arrested at a massage parlor in Southeast Texas for an alleged prostitution crime? Matt Horak is a criminal defense attorney in Houston, TX who will relentlessly pursue a reduction in or dismissal of these criminal charges so you can put this traumatic experience behind you and move on with your life.
Horak Law defends clients in Montgomery County, Fort Bend County, Liberty County, Harris County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, and Waller County against all types of allegations relating to prohibited sexual conduct. Contact our firm today at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at [phone-tollfree] to let our Harris County massage parlor prostitution attorney review your case during a initial consultation.