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Canyon is a city of approximately 16,000 residents in northwestern Texas, in the Texas panhandle. It is the county seat of Randall County, TX and is part of the Amarillo metropolitan statistical area. Prostitution and sex trafficking have been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities. Targeted violence and murder of prostituted women has also been reported to occur as a result of commercial sex transactions in the area. Among the more serious issues associated with the local commercial sex market is child sex trafficking.
Loss of employment is a consequence of buying sex in the city. For example, in October 2014, a local church leader resigned after being arrested on a charge related to prostitution at an Amarillo motel, according to Potter County Sheriff’s Office records and a church statement. The man had been was arrested by Texas Department of Public Safety troopers at a motel on Paramount Blvd in Amarillo, TX. According to reports, the man had been a pastor for Hillside Christian Church’s Canyon campus since 2009. The man previously worked for Family Support Services as a counselor for foster children who aged out of the system. He was booked into Potter County jail on the misdemeanor charge and was released on a $1,000 bond. The Hillside Christian Church issued a statement saying the man had turned in his resignation, as a result of his arrest. His identity and image were included in reports by local media outlets.
Employment Loss, Identity Disclosure:
- “Hillside Pastor Resigns after Prostitution Arrest”, Amarillo Globe-News, October 24 2014.
- https://www.amarillo.com/article/ (2014)
- https://www.newschannel10.com/canyon-pastor-arrested-on-prostitution-charge/ (2014)
- https://thebullamarillo.com/a-canyon-pastor-was-arrested-on-a-prostitution-charge/ (2014)
- https://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/texas-pastor-remorseful-busted-prostitute (2014)
- https://abc7amarillo.com/news/local/pastor-from-canyon-charged-with-prostitution (2014)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
- “Affidavit: Man Coerced Amarillo Teen into Prostitution”, ABC/KVUE-TV 24, August 3 2013.
- “Texas Man Sentenced for Using Teen as Prostitute”, Contra Costa Times, October 29 2013.
- “Amarillo Man Admits to Trying to Force Teen into Prostitution,” NBC/KAMR-TV 4, July 9 2015.
- “19-Year-Old Sentenced to 11 Years in Teen Prostitution Case,” NBC/KPRC-TV 35, September 20 2015.
- https://lonestarstandard.com/stories/524410930-canyon-west-texas-a-m-police-convinced-bible-group-isn-t-sex-trafficking-offer-advice (2020)
Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- Unsolved Murders Page, Amarillo Crime Stoppers, Amarillo Police Department.
- “Police Arrest 7 on Charges of Prostitution”, Amarillo Globe-News, June 18 2005.
- https://www.lubbockonline.com/story/news/crime/2017/04/12/west-texas-am-investigating-prostitution-related-crime/ (2017)
- https://news4sanantonio.com/news/local/wtamu-police-investigating-prostitution-related-crime (2017)
- https://www.newschannel10.com/story/35138374/wtamu-investigating-reports-of-prostitution-and-sexual-harassment/ (2017)
- https://www.newschannel10.com/story/36194957/wt-upd-closes-investigation-on-alleged-wt-prostitution/ (2017)
- https://www.myhighplains.com/27-arrested-in-amarillo-prostitution-human-trafficking-operation/ (2021)
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