I Was Arrested In A Sting Where The Prostitute Was An Undercover Police Officer; Isn’t That Entrapment?
In order to determine whether or not a prostitution sting involves entrapment, we first need to understand what entrapment means. In order for something to be entrapment, the police or law enforcement must have used persuasion or other means likely to induce someone to commit the act. This means that they must have done more than simply afforded someone the means to commit a crime. The facts and circumstances of a particular sting will have to be considered in determining whether or not entrapment is an available defense. If the police officer who was posing as a prostitute solicited you on the side of the road, then that would certainly be different than a situation where you responded to an ad on a webpage that is known for explicit sexual content and prostitution.
Prostitution is the agreement to exchange money for sex; it can be the agreement to receive money in exchange for sex or to give a fee in exchange for sex. A prostitute commits prostitution if they engage in their trade, but someone who solicits those services commits the exact same act under Texas law. The Code of Criminal Procedure, Section 3823, states that if a law enforcement actor uses or gets proceeds or evidence from illegal action or action that violates the laws of Texas, including the law of prostitution, then the jury can choose to throw out that evidence. When an officer poses in a sting, they are committing the offense of prostitution, and there is no statutory basis or authority to allow them to engage in such a sting. However, this is a practice that I see frequently engaged in by law enforcement agencies in Travis County and around the state of Texas. The police and prosecutors do not believe this is an issue, but I think it is and that these cases should be litigated.
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