Texas Gov. But they can still be charged with prostitution after Republican Gov.
Greg Abbott vetoed a widely supported bill to prohibit those arrests. But the veto surprised lawmakers and advocates who say children forced into prostitution should be treated as victims, not saddled with criminal records and sent to the juvenile justice system.
Omaha ts escorts a ringing endorsement, the Republican-led House and Senate both passed the legislation unanimously this session. Already 20 states have passed laws that give sex-trafficking victims immunity from certain prosecution, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Texas Take: Get the latest news on Texas politics austiin directly to your inbox every weekday Republican leaders in Texas have made it a top priority to crack down on sex trafficking.
But much of the attention has focused on criminal enforcement over victim assistance, an investigation by the Texas Tribune found.
The bill mirrors the approach the Houston Police Department is already prostitutee, Lt. Jessica Anderson told lawmakers in a public hearing this year. Instead hairy escorts kitchener sending children into the juvenile justice system, officers connect youth with an advocate so they can get access to resources such as therapy and stable housing.
The police department declined comment on the veto. No one testified against the bill in public hearings.
But only a small of children are arrested each year for prostitution, Texas Department of Public Safety zustin show. In32 children ages 16 and younger were arrested, including two between the ages of 10 and The majority were girls.
For subscribers: Sex-trafficking in San Antonio: Underage girl sold on web was forced to have sex 15 times a day Shannon Edmonds, Director of Governmental Relations at the Texas District and County Attorneys Association, said one concern is a lack of diversion services for victims auztin sex trafficking, especially in rural areas. During the fiscal year, more than 1, looking for someone to hit austins ran away from care and 52 reported being victims of sex trafficking while they were missing, according to a prostitute report.
Attorney General Ken Paxton declined comment.