Are Prostitution Stings Entrapment Under Texas Law?

The short answer is “no”.

Prostitution stings (aka john stings) involve female officers dressing up as call girls/hookers, hanging out in high crime areas, and approaching men (usually in cars), and asking them if they “want a date”. The conversations proceed from there, often with the undercover officer being the first one to actually raise the prospect of exchanging sex for money (which is the legal definition of prostitution in Texas).

Austin Police Department runs these sorts of sting operations several times a year. Well, if you’re arrested in this sort of operation, can your lawyer successfully argue entrapment?

Probably not. Through caselaw, the definition of entrapment in Texas includes not only inducement or persuasion by the officer to commit the crime. It also must be of such a nature that the ordinary law abiding citizen would have been induced or persuaded to commit it.

Thus, at jury trial, if the defense were even successful in having an entrapment charge submitted to the jury, the prosecutor can simply argue this: “Find this defendant not guilty, if you too, the jury members would have agreed to have sex with this undercover officer for money.” That’s a pretty high standard to get a juror to agree with (at least back in the jury room with the other members).

I was involved in a jury trial involving a prostitution sting once, where we were able to get a 38.23 instruction in front of the jury, and they acquitted. But that’s a story for another day.
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Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer - March 3, 2008 10:46 PM
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Comments (11) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
ashley - November 8, 2007 9:47 AM

i have a question...in the state of texas is it against the law to moon a cop?

Guy - February 24, 2008 10:53 AM

what is a 38.23 instruction

Veronica - March 26, 2008 11:31 AM

I agree that the LE is going to far to entrap consenting adults. I just spend hours on line researching on line linked arrests for this. I understand when a police dept gets calls from a client that has been robbed or neighbors who call because someone was not being very discreet.
It all comes down to how far we allow the law to control our privacy. Not all adult providers are drug addicts, we are raising our kids, pay for college and not on welfare. with the average house in Jersey going from at least 250 to 400,000, because you can't afford to live in NJ on welfare anymore.
Most cases whether client or provider, could be won at trail as they are now arresting people for suspicion of entering premises of a prostitute. A lot of people can not afford to bond out, get a lawyer so they plead guilty because its not a felony, but now they have a conviction on record. Some cites list these crimes as sex crimes and list those arrested as sexual predator records. Now they automatically arrest the establishment owner or lessee, without being prepared to prove in court that they had knowledge of any illegal activities.
Police have bullied and taken advantage of the fact that most people don't know their rights till after they have been arrested a few times and done some jail time. Also you have these clients that call and right out ask if you will do " a certain type of sex act for money. these guys obviously do not know that that is enough evidence for a conviction.

Veronica - March 26, 2008 11:32 AM

I agree that the LE is going to far to entrap consenting adults. I just spend hours on line researching on line linked arrests for this. I understand when a police dept gets calls from a client that has been robbed or neighbors who call because someone was not being very discreet.
It all comes down to how far we allow the law to control our privacy. Not all adult providers are drug addicts, we are raising our kids, pay for college and not on welfare. with the average house in Jersey going from at least 250 to 400,000, because you can't afford to live in NJ on welfare anymore.
Most cases whether client or provider, could be won at trail as they are now arresting people for suspicion of entering premises of a prostitute. A lot of people can not afford to bond out, get a lawyer so they plead guilty because its not a felony, but now they have a conviction on record. Some cites list these crimes as sex crimes and list those arrested as sexual predator records. Now they automatically arrest the establishment owner or lessee, without being prepared to prove in court that they had knowledge of any illegal activities.
Police have bullied and taken advantage of the fact that most people don't know their rights till after they have been arrested a few times and done some jail time. Also you have these clients that call and right out ask if you will do " a certain type of sex act for money. these guys obviously do not know that that is enough evidence for a conviction.

candi - June 5, 2008 4:31 AM

I can rest at night now!! YEAH RIGHT you so called police officers say you are out to protect and serve HA HA what about the drugs that are being sold on the street corners and those who die over them USE YOUR TIME MORE WISELY NEXT TIME POLICE OFFICER WHAT DUMMIES

Denise - August 20, 2008 3:19 AM

Hello,

Ref; entrapment

Can a police officer's sons or nephews create a sting?

I am predivorce and my husband's family and my brother have been trying to get rid of me after my real father put me in his will for a lot of money.

My step father's friends are local cops. Who are changing my police reports and slandering me; throwing away my police report then posting in public record that I have mental issues. NOT TRUE! I got a letter from a psychologist.

1) they tried to accuse me of taking money that someone else in the family stold.
2) They tried falsely accusing me of calling the water works at a barn where my horse was hurt too much; two 8 inch by 1 inch cuts on his back and then flogged over that.
3) They did interfere with my custody suit 1989 and with no criminal record got away with falsely accusing me of being in drug rehab. I was not nor did I.
That atterney was put in jail for hot check and earilier charged with fraud.

What to do? I can't stop them. Who do I report this to? Tort law?
My husband took all the money and I can't fight for my freedom! My rights! My life!

Please help me,
Denise

Diana McManus - November 1, 2008 2:59 PM

Can one sue the police department for false arrest concerning prostitution?

Charlie Daniels - January 5, 2009 10:19 PM

Its been my experience in Texas, that if you intend on commiting crime,(which you should not)then you should move out of the state, and they should just fence off the state of Texas, and call it THE TEXAS DEPT.OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE. each year Texas builds more and more prisons. The solution should be how to decrease the jail/prison population and not "hey heres an idea,lets build another jail/prison" 95% of the people incarcerated have an alcohol, or drug related offense. They either were under the influence at the time they committed the crime, or they committed the crime to obtain them. How about treatment? Now thats an idea. Not everyone is deserving of incarceration.There is far too much money spent on housing them instead of court ordered treatment as an alternative, and make the offender pay for it. Something long term possibly.  

melissa - August 13, 2011 8:57 PM

can a police 0fficer who claims he works for vice in fort worth texas make you perform oral sex on him, and then sleep with you, then not bust you, and then keep e- mailing you saying he is gonna send some one to bust you soon???

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