Initiatives intended to fight sex trafficking in Texas are high on the agenda of Governor Greg Abbott and the Office of the Attorney General.
However, a recent report reveals the state still has a way to go to bring human trafficking under control.
A report from the Human Trafficking Institute released in June revealed the Lone Star State ranks first in the nation for the number of criminal trafficking cases heard in federal courts last year. Of these 74 cases, 68 involved sex trafficking and six involved labor trafficking, KVUE reported.
Texas also tops the table for the number of new criminal human trafficking cases last year when 19 were initiated. The national state average is just five.
Texas initiated two new criminal labor trafficking cases last year. KVUE reported it’s just one of seven states to start a new labor trafficking prosecution.
Nationally, about 680 active criminal human trafficking cases, involving 1,217 active defendants, were being dealt with by the U.S. federal court system in 2018.
The Dallas Morning News also drew attention to Texas’ massive trafficking problem in an editorial.
It noted judges in the state are increasingly ordering traffickers to pay restitution to young victims who are caught up in the sex trade.
Recently, pimp Gregory Bowden admitted recruiting a 19-year-old victim and forcing her into prostitution across the state. U.S. District Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater sentenced Bowden to 11 years in prison.
The judge also ordered Bowden from Grand Prairie to pay his victim $332,990 in restitution.
The editorial noted federal law mandates payment of restitution in federal human trafficking cases. However, a review from the Human Trafficking Institute found it is only sought in just over a quarter of trafficking cases.
Human traffickers face a heavy penalty in the federal courts where the offense carries a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
The state of Texas and police departments such as Fort Worth have set up human trafficking task forces.
Federal Crimes carry harsh punishments. Defendants are often locked up for long terms in federal prisons with no parole. Criminal defense lawyers Clint Broden and Mick Mickelsen have more than 50 years’ combined experience in federal courts and a long track record of positive results. Please contact us today.