Texas City is a city of approximately 51,280 residents, situated on Texas’ Gulf Coast in Galveston County, near Galveston and League City. The city has reported significant problems with prostitution and related crime, including multiple high-profile cases of prostitution-related homicide.
In 2008, for example, a john was tortured and murdered in a city hotel room by two men after refusing to pay a woman he had procured for commercial sex. In 2010, the two men involved were each sentenced to roughly 40 years in prison for murder.
In an unrelated case, a serial killer who specifically targeted sex sellers murdered two women in Texas City. According to media reports, two victims’ bodies were discovered in 2001. Soon after, a woman involved in prostitution from Galveston came forward and reported “been beaten, bound and left naked in the same field” where the bodies had been found. In 2004, a Texas City resident pled guilty to the two killings, and was sentenced to at least 70 years in prison.
In their efforts to combat demand driving prostitution and sex trafficking locally, the Texas City Police Department has conducted several street-level reverse stings using police decoys. Reversals are often conducted in parallel with operations targeting sex sellers; in late October 2015, for example, 11 johns (and two women offering prostitution) were arrested following a street-level reversal in the city. Although the logistical details of the operation were not disclosed, law enforcement reported the sting was a joint effort between the TCPD, Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Office, and League City Police Department. All of the arrestees’ names and mugshots were publicized in press.
To our knowledge, the city does not apply any special sanctions (such as community service or a john school) designed for arrested sex buyers.
- Texas City Police Department
- Galveston County Narcotics Task Force
- U.S. Marshals Service
- Chambers County Sheriff’s Office
- Hitchcock Police Department
- Clear Lake Shores Police Department
- Street-Level Reverse Stings with Shaming:
- “Two-Day Sting Nets 24 Busts,” Texas City Sun, November 16 2002.
- “Texas City Officer Arrested in Prostitution Sting,” Houston Chronicle, April 5 2006.
- “Officer among Those Arrested in Sting,” Texas City Daily News, April 6 2006.
- “21 Charged in Prostitution Sting,” Texas City Daily News, June 23 2013.
- “13 Arrested in Texas City Undercover Anti-Prostitution Operation; Two Alleged Prostitutes and 11 Alleged Johns Nabbed,” Houston Chronicle, November 2 2015.
- Background on Prostitution in the Area:
- “Special Crimes Unit Snags Nine in Sting,” Texas City Sun, July 4 2002.
- “Prostitutes Charged in TC Sting,” Texas City Sun, August 30 2002.
- “Prostitution Sting Nets 16,” Texas City Daily News, April 9 2005.
- “Police: 4 Charged in Prostitution Sting,” Texas City Daily News, December 30 2011.
- “5 Charged in Prostitution Sting,” Texas City Daily News, June 6 2012.
- “Police Arrest 3 Women in Prostitution Sting,” Texas City Daily News, September 1 2012.
- Documented Violence against Individuals Engaged in Prostitution in the Area:
- “Probe in Killings of Two Leads to Kidnap Suspect,” Houston Chronicle, May 22 2001.
- “Man Gets Two Life Sentences,” Texas City Daily News, January 7 2004.
- “Man Pleads Guilty to Killing 2 Prostitutes,” Houston Chronicle, January 7 2004.
- “2 Charged in Bell’s Beating Homicide,” Texas City Daily News, April 18 2008.
- “Admitted Prostitute Implicates Men in Slaying,” Texas City Daily News, October 21 2009.
- “Ex-Addict: Victim Alive when Accused Left Hotel,” Texas City Daily News, October 22 2009.
- “Admitted Prostitute Implicates Men in Murder at Texas City Comfort Inn Suites,” CBS/KHOU-TV 11, October 26 2009.
- “Man Guilty of Murder in Torture Slaying,” Texas City Daily News, October 28 2009.
- “Parents of Murder Victim Lash out at Killer,” Texas City Daily News, November 20 2009.
- “Second Man Charged in Slaying Pleads Guilty,” Texas City Daily News, February 2 2010.
- “Man Gets 41 Years for Role in Torture Slaying,” Texas City Daily News, February 4 2010.
- “Police: Robberies Involving iPods Could Be Related,” Texas City Daily News, May 8 2010.