Both the laws of Texas and the United States make behavior commonly referred to as human trafficking serious criminal offenses.
Federal law prohibits trafficking minors for the purpose of having those minors engage i what the law calls commercial sex acts, such as prostitution.
United States prosecutors can file charges even if no children crossed state lines. These charges may apply even if the children, runaway teenagers for example, agreed to their treatment.
Someone convicted under federal law could spend 20 years in a federal prison and have to pay fines and restitution.
If a child is under 14 or if the offense involves some sort of coercion or force, then the person convicted must spend 15 years in prison and may wind up with a life sentence.
Likewise, Texas law makes offenses related to trafficking minors either second-degree felonies or first-degree felonies depending on the circumstances. A first-degree felony is punishable by up to 99 years in prison, while a second-degree felony carries a term of 2 to 20 years.
The laws against human trafficking are broad
The laws against human trafficking can cast a very broad net. Basically, anyone who is at all involved in a human trafficking operation, even an unwitting customer, can wind up looking at a life-altering sex crime charge.
Even if an accused Beaumont resident can avoid the most serious jail sentences, they will still have to go through life with the stigma of a sex offense on their record.
Well after they have put the matter to rest legally, they might find it hard if not possible to find a job or carry on with a normal life.
Someone who is facing charges related to human trafficking should make sure they understand their rights and the options they have for defending their futures.