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STATEMENT – New Texas Law Makes Sex Buying a Felony on First Offense

Texas Joins Maine in Precedent-Setting Efforts to Tackle Demand, Sex Buying, for Prostituted Persons

Washington, DC (June 17, 2021) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) applauds the Texas Legislature for passing its precedent-setting bill (HB 1540) that makes purchasing sex a felony for a first offense, which was signed into law by Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday. 

“Texas’ new law is a prime way to deter people from engaging in the sex trade and will decrease the demand for prostituted persons, ultimately shrinking the exploitation industry. We are grateful to Texas for implementing a strong solution to combat the demand and to hold men accountable,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

Also on Wednesday, the Maine Legislature also passed an innovative bill (LD 1592) that reframes prostitution as a problem of demand and classifies sex buying as a crime of commercial sexual exploitation – with stringent fines that can be used to help provide services to victims of ...