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.