The Dallas Morning News reported police said they had caught a man in a stolen pickup with a 16-year-old girl who he had sex with.
Officers said they witnessed 24-year-old Joe Vasquero Torres and the girl get into a Ford pickup last week outside a pawn shop in northeastern Dallas, according to information contained in an arrest warrant affidavit. Police said they checked the license plate and it came back instead to a Toyota sedan. They said Torres drove away from the scene when they tried to pull him over on Ferguson Road.
They apprehended him in Garland, where he tried to elude them. Police reported they caught him and the girl and arrested him. Officers later confirmed the pickup was reported stolen in Hillsboro, reported the Dallas Morning News.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, the girl told police she had sex with Torres about 10 times. She also told officers that he had dropped her off for a night at a house in Garland to have sex for money. The affidavit stated Torres admitted having sex with the girl and said she is reported to be pregnant with his child. Police allege Torres provided the girl with hotel rooms after she ran away from home.
He is charged with sex trafficking of a child, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, sexual assault of a child, evading arrest and possession of less than a gram of methamphetamine. He remained in Dallas County jail on Friday in lieu of $52,500 bail.
This month a report by Shared Hope International, a non-partisan organization based in Washington state ranked Texas as one of the most effective states in fighting child sex trafficking
Shared Hope gave the Lone Star State an A grade in its annual report entitled “Protected Innocence Challenge,” which relates to the sex trafficking of children.
The organization cited one of the laws the Texas Legislature recently passed in its 84th session. The state allows the victims of sex trafficking, including minors, to be compensated from the personal assets of the business owners if they helped exploit them.
Texas has some stiff penalties for traffickers and buyers and facilitators. “The biggest area of improvement left for Texas is within victim protection, and so we did see a bit of improvement within victim protection,” explained Rachel Harper, one of the authors of Shared Hope’s report.
If you are charged with a sexual offense you could face a wide range of penalties, some of them extremely serious. Often the recollections of young witnesses can be unreliable and it’s important to hire an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney to defend your rights.