|IT Based Tactics||✓|
New Braunfels serves as the county seat of Comal County, Texas. It is located in southern Texas, near San Antonio, and has a populaiton of approximately 100,000. Prostitution activity has been well-documented in the city and surrounding communities, and throughout the county. This activity and the problems and ancillary crimes it generates results in complaints to law enforcement agencies from residents and businesses. Among the more serious crimes associated with the local commercial sex market is sex trafficking. For example in November of 2013, a New Braunfels man was indicted on charges of sex trafficking and compelling prostitution of a child under the age of 18. According to reports, the sex trafficker allegedly arranged paid sexual encounters with a 16-yar-old girl. He was arrested and booked in the Comal County Jail and his bond was asset to $400,000. In 2017, a routine traffic stop for speeding resulted in the investigation and subsequent arrest of a New Braunfels sex trafficker. As that traffic stop continued, it was learned that the juvenile female passenger was listed as a runaway out of Dallas and it was discovered that she was in numerous ads in the victim’s name, allegedly offering sexual services on the internet in various locations such as Austin, San Antonio, and Louisiana. According to reports, when a New Braunfels Police officer was conducting the traffic stop, the driver attempted to conceal the smell of marijuana in the car in addition to his involvement in the facilitation and benefit from sex trafficking of a minor. He was taken to the Comal County Jail on a bond of $12,000. Based on the information obtained during the original traffic stop, the ongoing investigation by NBPD’s Criminal Investigations Division (C.I.D.), and with the cooperation of the Comal County District Attorney’s Office, the sex trafficker was additionally charged with Human Trafficking, a 1st degree felony (Trafficking of Persons – TPC 20A.02). The arrest warrant alleges that the offender intentionally and knowingly transported the juvenile female in a vehicle in support of prostitution, and that he allegedly benefitted monetarily from her sex trafficking. That arrest warrant was served at the Comal County Jail and an additional bond of $300,000 was issued. The juvenile female was later reunited with family members and received victim services from the New Braunfels Police Department and various other agencies.
Consumer level demand provides the revenue stream for all prostitution and sex trafficking, and has therefore been targeted by local law enforcement agencies as a strategy for prevention and response. Demand reduction tactics used in the town include the arrest of sex buyers and the public disclosure of their identities. In October, 2022, a 58-year-old man was arrested for a second time after New Braunfels police alleged that he was sex trafficking a 16-year-old girl. He had been previously arrested one week earlier for trafficking of persons, a first-degree felony. His charge stems from accusations of the man contacting a teenage girl through social media, meeting her in-person, and paying her for “conducting a sexual relationship with him,” according to police. The victim came forward and told authorities the crimes began in May, 2022. Police said there was a second victim of the same alleged offender, a 15-year-old, and those crimes happened in 2021. The suspect was held in the Comal County Jail and his bond was set at $500,000. AS the investigation continued, the man could face more charges and a higher bond amount, at the request of the Comal County District Attorney’s Office.
- New Braunfels Police Department
- Criminal Investigations Division (C.I.D.)
- Comal County Sheriff’s Office
- Comal County District Attorney’s Office
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- New Braunfels man arrested for sex trafficking after a routine traffic stop (2017)
- https://www.ksat.com/man-arrested-for-second-time-child-sex-crimes-new-braunfels (2022)
- https://www.kens5.com/article/news/crime/new-braunfels-man-arrested-for-second-time-sex-trafficking-accusations-police (2022)
Background on Local Sex Trafficking: