• Sex Trafficking is Real

    It is increasing at an alarming rate, and it is happening to kids from stable homes, in good neighborhoods, schools, and churches all over America. Politicians and police are a part of the equation, but they will not stop sex trafficking for us. It will only stop when everyday citizens rise up and refuse to accept it in our communities.

     

  • Strengthen Anti-Human Trafficking Laws

    Operation Texas shield

    Human Trafficking (HT)/Sex trafficking (ST)...

    ...is real and it is infiltrating all parts of our communities. It is often quite different than the stereotypical examples you’ve heard about for years (stereotypes like: Hispanic immigrants smuggled into the country under false pretenses and forced to work in some cantina or brothel, Asian girls smuggled to the U.S. under similar circumstances and forced into the back rooms of a spa or nail salon, and runaways from broken homes picked up off the streets by a pimp and trapped into a life of prostitution).

  • What we KNOW

    Brief Background

    "We lived it"

    Human Trafficking impacted my family in May of 2016. We aggressively fought back, hired professional help, and (by the grace of God) found and recovered our daughter. Most people who find themselves in the same situation are not so fortunate.

    What We Have Learned

    "Its growing"

    Human trafficking has grown explosively in recent years particularly in Texas. In the U.S. 82% of HT is sex trafficking involves forcing young girls (or boys) into commercial sex acts. There are a few key reasons for the recent growth.

  • Current Activity

    Federal level: House Bill - HR 1865 "FOSTA"

    ACTION: Send emails and call the cosponsors (see below) of the bill to remove their sponsorship for legislation that will not help victims and survivors.

    Legislation proposed in April of this year H.R. 1865, known as the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act of 2017 (“FOSTA”), aims to prohibit the “Promotion or facilitation of prostitution and reckless disregard of sex trafficking.”

     

    IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS, the language in this bill has drastically changed! Coincidentally, at the same time as ISPs, Google and other online sites have decided to now support it!

     

    Now in its current form, FOSTA fails to provide adequate protections for the myriad trafficking victims who are sold for sex through online platforms each and every day.

     

    The portion of FOSTA intended to allow civil recovery for trafficking-related damages has adopted the same problematic language as the CDA, which has been interpreted to allow internet service providers and websites to shirk liability on countless occasions. According to the language and structure of both FOSTA and the CDA, to bring a cause of action against an internet service provider, a plaintiff or prosecutor must show that the service provider engaged in the “creation” or “development” of the content in question. This standard is extremely difficult to meet because courts have defined “content development” in an extremely limited manner.

     

    Source: The Villanova Law Institute to address Sexual Exploitation

     

    Federal level: Senate Bill - S 1693 "SESTA"

    ACTION: None at this time

    Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017

    This bill amends the Communications Act of 1934 to specify that communications decency provisions protecting providers from liability for the private blocking or screening of offensive material shall not be construed to impair the enforcement of, or limit availability of victim restitution or civil remedies under, state or federal criminal or civil laws relating to sex trafficking of children or sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion.


    The bill amends the federal criminal code to specify that the violation for benefiting from "participation in a venture" engaged in sex trafficking of children, or by force, fraud, or coercion, includes knowing conduct by any person or entity by any means that assists, supports, or facilitates the violation.

    State level

    ACTION: None at this time

    We are currently planning for the 86th session in 2019. In the session that just ended we were successful passing a few good bills but the most strongest bills were successfully blocked from even receiving a hearing even though we had over 10,000 petition signatures and a boat-load of emails stating support. We are not giving up, we are changing tactics. The list outlining the specific actions individuals can take to support our 2019 legislative efforts is currently in development. Stay tuned...

  • What YOU can do to join the FIGHT!

    Follow and repost all social media posts from the following Facebook and Twitter sites.

     

    Facebook:

    @OperationTexasShield

     

    Use the hashtag #FightForUs

     

  • There are 5 main reasons why it is growing!

    REason #1

    Demand is Increasing

    In the past people paying for the girls had to cruise unsafe street corners, enter sleazy clubs, or rent dirty hotel rooms. The new trend is for pimps to deliver victims to the Johns. The delivery can be to a hotel room, to a an apartment set up for that purpose, or right to your front door like a pizza. The offending buyer never has to show their face or even leave their home. They simply have to give a credit card number. Today 76% of the transactions for commercial sex acts occur online. The traditional methods of trafficking are just as prevalent as they ever were. The new and more sophisticated approach is harder to stop and is poised to continue fueling the explosive growth.

    Reason #2

    Traffickers have more access

    Traffickers have more access to our teens, and they are getting better at their grooming methods. Almost every teenager is continually connected to social media. The traffickers constantly troll those sites / applications to identify susceptible teens. They have a network of contacts patiently coercing (brainwashing) their targets. Many victims are snatched away into a dark existence right after their 18th birthday while they are still completely naïve about the world, but legally they are adults.

    reason #3

    Yesterday's Drug...Today's Sex..

    Yesterday’s drug dealers are today’s sex traffickers. Why? The sex traffickers (pimps) today make as much if not more money than drug traffickers. Drugs are a consumable product that can be sold one time. Sex trafficking victims can be sold over 25 times per day. Everyday. Day-after-day-after-day.

    reason #4

    Authorities need more

    Police and prosecutors are not able to effectively pursuing pimps. The offense for which officers are most likely to arrest a pimp is for conducting the transaction. Remember the statistic? Seventy six percent (76%) of the transactions occur online. What does an officer do when he catches a known pimp riding around with a teenage victim? Nothing! There is nothing the officer can do. For a pimp having the “product” you sell in your possession is perfectly legal. Compare that scenario to a drug dealer. If a dealer gets caught with kilo of cocaine they’re going to jail, and there is a high probability they will be convicted and harshly punished.

    reason #5

    Judicial leniency

    Human Traffickers receive judicial leniency. The police don't focus on pimps in the first place, but even when pimps get caught, prosecuted, and convicted they receive punishment much less severe than drug dealers.

     

     

  • The Proof...A True Story

    Here is a real, relevant, and recent example that perfectly demonstrates why we need these laws

    A 27 year-old man named Emanuel Jose Cartegena was arrested in Houston in early May of 2016. He has a long criminal record that is not worth listing. The only reason for mentioning it is to convey that he is a habitual criminal.

    The most relevant charges leading to his arrest in May were...
    1. Compelling the Prostitution of a Minor and 2. Promoting the Prostitution of a Minor.
    He was NOT apprehended peacefully or without incident. His surveillance, pursuit, arrest, etc. required substantial resources, effort, and expense. He received a timely trial (as is his right) in Harris county in early August of 2016. Emanuel’s trial concluded with the charge of Compelling the Prostitution of a Minor being dropped. For the charge of Promoting the Prostitution of Minor he received Deferred Adjudication. Let’s be clear what “Deferred Adjudication” means. It means that he pleaded GUILTY to the charge of Promoting the Prostitution OF A MINOR. However, as long as he completes the conditions of his deferred adjudication (which usually includes attending a counseling session, and not getting arrested for promoting prostitution again for the next 6 months), the charges will be dropped and will not be added to his criminal record. In layman’s terms the Texas judicial system said to Emanuel, “Keep your nose clean for 6 months and we’ll forget this ever happened.” It is not difficult to see why HT is becoming the crime of choice for the criminally minded. What set of circumstances could possibly lead a prosecutor and a judge to believe that justice has been served when they drop the charges against a pimp, with a long criminal record, who admitted he was guilty of prostituting a minor?
    It is time to fight back!