Massage parlors offer unique services to clients seeking relaxation. However, some locations might provide sexual favors in exchange for money. This amounts to the crimes of prostitution and solicitation in Texas, and everyone involved is at risk.
If you’re arrested for a massage parlor sex crime, you need a Houston defense attorney, experienced in massage parlor solicitation charges, who knows how to build a strong defense. At The Law Offices of Ned Barnett, our lawyers have successfully represented people in difficult circumstances after visiting the wrong massage parlor.
Call (713) 222-6767 for a free and confidential consultation.
Massage Parlor Solicitation Charges in Houston, TX
Massage parlor crimes typically fall under prostitution or solicitation offenses, codified in Texas Penal Code Title 9, Chapter 43.
- Prostitution (Texas Penal Code 43.02) is any type of sexual conduct being exchanged for money or items of value.
- Solicitation of prostitution (Texas Penal Code 43.021) occurs when a person agrees to purchase or trade items of value for any type of sexual conduct.
Arrests in Houston Massage Parlors
In many massage parlor cases, police have been undercover or tracking illegal activity for a long time. They may target specific escorts or “johns.” Johns are people (typically men) who use massage parlor services.
The police may place online ads encouraging people to use massage parlor services. This is often a form of entrapment that your massage parlor sex crime lawyer can use as a defense in your case.
The police may also raid a place of business and arrest everyone present, regardless of what is happening in each room. You may not have even been aware of sex crimes happening at the business.
Complex Issues with Massage Parlor Cases
Because the police are so closely involved in massage parlor solicitation cases, there are often issues involving the following:
- Police entrapment
- Sex trafficking rings
- Human trafficking
- RubMaps (which provides reviews and referrals to massage parlors)
- Online ads
- Undercover police
- Sting operations
Obtaining evidence supporting your case can be challenging when these issues are involved. Your lawyer will help you develop a strong case and defend yourself against false accusations of massage parlor sex crimes.
Massage Parlor Solicitation Penalties
Penalties for massage parlor solicitation cases depend on the exact charges you’re facing:
Solicitation of Prostitution Penalties
Solicitation of prostitution is a felony for first-time offenders. It can result in between 180 days and two years of incarceration and a significant fine.
Repeat offenses can increase to a third-degree felony, resulting in up to 10 years in prison, or a second-degree felony with up to 20 years in prison.
If you are over 18 and charged with prostitution in a massage parlor sex crimes case, you may face a state jail felony with between 180 days and two years of incarceration. You may also be given a fine of up to $10,000.
If the crime involved the prostitution of a child between the ages of 14 and 18, you may face a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If the crime involved the prostitution of a child aged 14 or younger, it becomes a second-degree felony. You may face a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Related Charges to Massage Parlor Solicitation
Many other charges are related to prostitution and solicitation that may be included in massage parlor sex crimes. Those include the following:
- Promotion of Prostitution
- Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution
- Compelling Prostitution
- Forcible Touching
- Sexual Assault/Rape
- Sex Trafficking
- Human Trafficking
If you have been charged with any of these crimes, you must work closely with a Houston sex crimes lawyer to develop a strong defense.
Defending Against Massage Parlor Solicitation
There are several defense strategies that massage parlor raid lawyers may choose for your case. Every case is different and should be analyzed carefully to determine which defenses work best for its unique circumstances.
Common defenses seen in massage parlor solicitation cases:
- Mistaken Identity: Arguing that the defendant did not commit the alleged act.
- Lack of Evidence: Questioning the sufficiency and reliability of the evidence presented.
- Insufficient Intent: Arguing that there was no clear intent to solicit a sexual act or that the defendant believed they were paying for a legitimate massage.
- Entrapment: Law enforcement used overly persuasive tactics to encourage the act.
- Constitutional Violations: For instance, if the arrest was made without probable cause or a search was conducted without a warrant or valid consent.
- Witness Credibility: Challenging the reliability and credibility of witnesses, including undercover officers.
Possible Outcomes in a Massage Parlor Solicitation Case
There are many possible outcomes in massage parlor solicitation cases. The best option for you depends on the exact circumstances of your case.
Some people may be able to get their charges dismissed. This is common if your massage parlor solicitation defense attorney can get key evidence excluded or thrown out. If the prosecutor doesn’t have enough information to prove you are guilty, they will have to dismiss your charges.
You may also be able to get your charges reduced or plead to a lesser included offense. That will result in lower penalties, and you may be able to stay off the sex offender list.
Penalties can also be negotiated with the prosecutor if you are willing to plead no contest or guilty. For example, you may be able to serve time on probation or house arrest. A diversion program may also be possible where you receive treatment for any sexual addiction you may have.
Massage Parlor Solicitation FAQs
If you have been charged with a massage parlor solicitation sex crime, you likely have many questions. When you call us, we will answer all your questions. Some of the most common questions we hear include the following:
Can I keep an arrest for solicitation at a massage parlor private?
Arrests are public information. That means anyone searching for you in the police or court system will see your name and possibly your mugshot. In many cases, the media publishes names and mugshots. That’s why contacting a massage parlor solicitation defense attorney is vital to begin your defense and get the charges dropped. You may eventually be able to get your arrest or charges erased from public record in some circumstances.
Can these massage parlor charges be expunged?
If you are acquitted of the sex crimes charges, then you may be able to get them cleared from your record or sealed. However, if there is a felony conviction or you are on the sex offender registration list, you cannot get sex crimes expunged in Texas.
Can I be charged if I was present in the parlor but did not engage in illicit activities?
Yes, you may be rounded up and charged with the rest of the people at the massage parlor, even if you did not engage in sexual activity. You will have to defend yourself, and you need someone to protect your rights. You should immediately hire a massage parlor sting lawyer to help you get the charges dropped.
What if the masseuse initiated the illicit act? Can I still be charged?
Yes, if there was any exchange of money for sexual activity, you can be charged with solicitation of prostitution. It does not matter if you specifically asked for the contact or if it was offered.
How can a defense attorney help if I’m charged with massage parlor solicitation?
A massage parlor solicitation defense lawyer can help you understand your rights and develop a strong defense against the allegations of sex crimes. The prosecution will have strong evidence if they are charging you with a massage parlor sex crime. It’s important to attack their information and get it thrown out. Your attorney can also negotiate with the prosecution and get your charges reduced or penalties alternated when possible.
Contact a Massage Parlor Solicitation Defense Attorney
No matter what happened in the massage parlor, you have rights. The prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime. A massage parlor prostitution lawyer at The Law Offices of Ned Barnett has the experience and knowledge necessary to defend you against massage parlor sex crime charges effectively.