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Sexual Offenses

Sexual offenses in Texas are found in several different chapters of the Texas Penal Code.

The paragraphs below highlight the basic elements of these crimes. The full text of the laws can be found by following the links provided. These laws are often quite complicated and contain very specific and detailed definitions, presumptions, enhancements, and exceptions. If you have been charged with one of these crimes, call my office at 888-403-0383 and we can discuss all the details of how the law applies in your specific situation.

Sexual offenses include:

Continuous Sexual Abuse of Young Child or Children (PC 21.02)

  • A person commits an offense if:
    • during a period that is 30 or more days in duration, the person commits two or more acts of sexual abuse, regardless of whether the acts of sexual abuse are committed against one or more victims; and
    • at the time of the commission of each of the acts of sexual abuse, the actor is 17 years of age or older and the victim is a child younger than 14 years of age, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense.

Homosexual Conduct (PC 21.06) - Note:  This statute is still in the Penal Code but has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

  • A person commits an offense if he engages in deviate sexual intercourse with another individual of the same sex.

Public Lewdness (PC 21.07)

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly engages in any of the following acts in a public place or, if not in a public place, the person is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by the person's:
    • act of sexual intercourse;
    • act of deviate sexual intercourse; or
    • act of sexual contact.

Indecent Exposure (PC 21.08)

  • A person commits an offense if he exposes his anus or any part of his genitals with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, and he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his act.

Beastiality (PC 21.09)

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:
    • (1) engages in an act involving contact between:
      • the person's mouth, anus, or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal; or
      • the person's anus or genitals and the mouth of the animal;
    • (2) fondles or touches the anus or genitals of an animal in a manner that is not a generally accepted and otherwise lawful animal husbandry or veterinary practice, including touching through clothing;
    • (3) causes an animal to contact the seminal fluid of the person;
    • (4) inserts any part of a person's body or any object into the anus or genitals of an animal in a manner that is not a generally accepted and otherwise lawful animal husbandry or veterinary practice;
    • (5) possesses, sells, transfers, purchases, or otherwise obtains an animal with the intent that the animal be used for conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4);
    • (6) organizes, promotes, conducts, or participates as an observer of conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4);
    • (7) causes a person to engage or aids a person in engaging in conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4);
    • (8) permits conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4) to occur on any premises under the person's control;
    • (9) engages in conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4) in the presence of a child younger than 18 years of age; or
    • (10) advertises, offers, or accepts the offer of an animal with the intent that the animal be used in this state for conduct described by Subdivision (1), (2), (3), or (4).

Indecency With a Child (PC 21.11)

  • A person commits an offense if, with a child younger than 17 years of age, whether the child is of the same or opposite sex and regardless of whether the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, the person:
  • engages in sexual contact with the child or causes the child to engage in sexual contact; or
  • with intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person:
    • exposes the person's anus or any part of the person's genitals, knowing the child is present; or
    • causes the child to expose the child's anus or any part of the child's genitals.

Improper Relationship Between Educator and Student (PC 21.12)

  • An employee of a public or private primary or secondary school commits an offense if the employee:
    • engages in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school at which the employee works;
    • holds a position described by Section 21.003(a) or (b), Education Code, regardless of whether the employee holds the appropriate certificate, permit, license, or credential for the position, and engages in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with a person the employee knows is:
      • enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school, other than a school described by Subdivision (1); or
      • a student participant in an educational activity that is sponsored by a school district or a public or private primary or secondary school, if students enrolled in a public or private primary or secondary school are the primary participants in the activity; or
    • engages in conduct described by Section 33.021, with a person described by Subdivision (1), or a person the employee knows is a person described by Subdivision (2)(A) or (B), regardless of the age of that person.

Invasive Visual Recording (PC 21.15)

  • A person commits an offense if, without the other person's consent and with intent to invade the privacy of the other person, the person:
    • photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of an intimate area of another person if the other person has a reasonable expectation that the intimate area is not subject to public view;
    • photographs or by videotape or other electronic means records, broadcasts, or transmits a visual image of another in a bathroom or changing room; or
    • knowing the character and content of the photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission, promotes a photograph, recording, broadcast, or transmission described above.

Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material (PC 21.16)

  • A person commits an offense if:
    • without the effective consent of the depicted person and with the intent to harm that person, the person discloses visual material depicting another person with the person's intimate parts exposed or engaged in sexual conduct;
    • at the time of the disclosure, the person knows or has reason to believe that the visual material was obtained by the person or created under circumstances in which the depicted person had a reasonable expectation that the visual material would remain private;
    • the disclosure of the visual material causes harm to the depicted person; and
    • the disclosure of the visual material reveals the identity of the depicted person in any manner, including through:
      • any accompanying or subsequent information or material related to the visual material; or
      • information or material provided by a third party in response to the disclosure of the visual material.
  • A person commits an offense if:
    • the person intentionally threatens to disclose, without the consent of the depicted person, visual material depicting another person with the person's intimate parts exposed or engaged in sexual conduct and the actor makes the threat to obtain a benefit:
      • in return for not making the disclosure; or
      • in connection with the threatened disclosure.
  •  A person commits an offense if:
    • knowing the character and content of the visual material, the person promotes visual material described above on an Internet website or other forum for publication that is owned or operated by the person.

Voyeurism (PC 21.17)

  • A person commits an offense if the person, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor, observes another person without the other person's consent while the other person is in a dwelling or structure in which the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Sexual Coercion (PC 21.18)

  • A person commits an offense if the person intentionally threatens, including by coercion or extortion, to commit an offense under Chapter 43 or Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8), 21.02, 21.08, 21.11, 21.12, 21.15, 21.16, 21.17, 22.011, or 22.021 to obtain, in return for not committing the threatened offense or in connection with the threatened offense, any of the following benefits:
    • intimate visual material;
    • an act involving sexual conduct causing arousal or gratification; or
    • a monetary benefit or other benefit of value.
  • A person commits an offense if the person intentionally threatens, including by coercion or extortion, to commit an offense under Chapter 19 or 20 or Section 20A.02(a)(1), (2), (5), or (6) to obtain, in return for not committing the threatened offense or in connection with the threatened offense, either of the following benefits:
    • intimate visual material; or
    • an act involving sexual conduct causing arousal or gratification.

Unlawful Electronic Transmission of Sexually Explicit Visual Material (PC 21.19)

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly transmits by electronic means visual material that:
    • depicts:
      • any person engaging in sexual conduct or with the person's intimate parts exposed; or
      • covered genitals of a male person that are in a discernibly turgid state; and
    • is not sent at the request of or with the express consent of the recipient.

Indecent Assault (PC 22.012)

  • A person commits an offense if, without the other person's consent and with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, the person:
    • touches the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of another person;
    • touches another person with the anus, breast, or any part of the genitals of any person;
    • exposes or attempts to expose another person's genitals, pubic area, anus, buttocks, or female areola; or
    • causes another person to contact the blood, seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, saliva, urine, or feces of any person.

​Sexual Assault (PC 22.011)

  • A person commits an offense if:
    • the person intentionally or knowingly:
      • causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person's consent;
      • causes the penetration of the mouth of another person by the sexual organ of the actor, without that person's consent; or
      • causes the sexual organ of another person, without that person's consent, to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
    • regardless of whether the person knows the age of the child at the time of the offense, the person intentionally or knowingly:
      • causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of a child by any means;
      • causes the penetration of the mouth of a child by the sexual organ of the actor;
      • causes the sexual organ of a child to contact or penetrate the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor;
      • causes the anus of a child to contact the mouth, anus, or sexual organ of another person, including the actor; or
      • causes the mouth of a child to contact the anus or sexual organ of another person, including the actor.

Aggravated Sexual Assault (PC 22.021)

  • A person commits an offense if the person commits Sexual Assault as described above; and

  • the person:
    • causes serious bodily injury or attempts to cause the death of the victim or another person in the course of the same criminal episode;
    • by acts or words places the victim in fear that any person will become the victim of an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) or that death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping will be imminently inflicted on any person;
    • by acts or words occurring in the presence of the victim threatens to cause any person to become the victim of an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(3), (4), (7), or (8) or to cause the death, serious bodily injury, or kidnapping of any person;
    • uses or exhibits a deadly weapon in the course of the same criminal episode;
    • acts in concert with another who engages in conduct described by Subdivision (1) directed toward the same victim and occurring during the course of the same criminal episode; or
    • with the intent of facilitating the commission of the offense, administers or provides to the victim of the offense any substance capable of impairing the victim's ability to appraise the nature of the act or to resist the act;
  • the victim is younger than 14 years of age, regardless of whether the person knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense; or
  • the victim is an elderly individual or a disabled individual.

Bigamy (PC 25.01)

  • An individual commits an offense if:
    • he is legally married and he:
      • purports to marry or does marry a person other than his spouse in this state, or any other state or foreign country, under circumstances that would, but for the actor's prior marriage, constitute a marriage; or
      • lives with a person other than his spouse in this state under the appearance of being married; or
    • he knows that a married person other than his spouse is married and he:
      • purports to marry or does marry that person in this state, or any other state or foreign country, under circumstances that would, but for the person's prior marriage, constitute a marriage; or
      • lives with that person in this state under the appearance of being married.

Prohibited Sexual Conduct (PC 25.02)

  • A person commits an offense if the person engages in sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse with another person the actor knows to be, without regard to legitimacy:
    • the actor's ancestor or descendant by blood or adoption;
    • the actor's current or former stepchild or stepparent;
    • the actor's parent's brother or sister of the whole or half blood;
    • the actor's brother or sister of the whole or half blood or by adoption;
    • the children of the actor's brother or sister of the whole or half blood or by adoption; or
    • the son or daughter of the actor's aunt or uncle of the whole or half blood or by adoption.

Online Solicitation of a Minor (PC 33.021)

  • A person who is 17 years of age or older commits an offense if, with the intent to commit an offense listed in Article 62.001(5)(A), (B), or (K), Code of Criminal Procedure, the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, intentionally:
    • communicates in a sexually explicit manner with a minor; or
    • distributes sexually explicit material to a minor.
  • A person commits an offense if the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, knowingly solicits a minor to meet another person, including the actor, with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with the actor or another person.

Prostitution (PC 43.02)

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly offers or agrees to receive a fee from another to engage in sexual conduct.
  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly offers or agrees to pay a fee to another person for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with that person or another.

Promotion of Prostitution (PC 43.03)

  • A person commits an offense if, acting other than as a prostitute receiving compensation for personally rendered prostitution services, he or she knowingly:
    • receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement to participate in the proceeds of prostitution; or
    • solicits another to engage in sexual conduct with another person for compensation.

Online Promotion of Prostitution (PC 43.031)

  • A person commits an offense if the person owns, manages, or operates an interactive computer service or information content provider, or operates as an information content provider, with the intent to promote the prostitution of another person or facilitate another person to engage in prostitution.

Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution (PC 43.04)

  •  A person commits an offense if he knowingly owns, invests in, finances, controls, supervises, or manages a prostitution enterprise that uses two or more prostitutes.

Aggravated Online Promotion of Prostitution (PC 43.041)

  • A person commits an offense if the person owns, manages, or operates an interactive computer service or information content provider, or operates as an information content provider, with the intent to promote the prostitution of five or more persons or facilitate five or more persons to engage in prostitution.

Compelling Prostitution (PC 43.05)

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly:
    • causes another by force, threat, coercion, or fraud to commit prostitution; or
    • causes by any means a child younger than 18 years to commit prostitution, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the child at the time of the offense.

Obscene Display or Distribution (PC 43.22)

  • A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly displays or distributes an obscene photograph, drawing, or similar visual representation or other obscene material and is reckless about whether a person is present who will be offended or alarmed by the display or distribution.

Obscenity (PC 43.23)

  • A person commits an offense if, knowing its content and character, he wholesale promotes or possesses with intent to wholesale promote any obscene material or obscene device.
  • A person commits an offense if, knowing its content and character, he:
    • promotes or possesses with intent to promote any obscene material or obscene device; or
    • produces, presents, or directs an obscene performance or participates in a portion thereof that is obscene or that contributes to its obscenity.

Sexual Performance by a Child (PC 43.25)

  • A person commits an offense if, knowing the character and content thereof, he employs, authorizes, or induces a child younger than 18 years of age to engage in sexual conduct or a sexual performance. A parent or legal guardian or custodian of a child younger than 18 years of age commits an offense if he consents to the participation by the child in a sexual performance.
  • A person commits an offense if, knowing the character and content of the material, he produces, directs, or promotes a performance that includes sexual conduct by a child younger than 18 years of age.

Employment Harmful to Children (PC 43.251)

  • A person commits an offense if the person employs, authorizes, or induces a child to work:
    • in a sexually oriented commercial activity; or
    • in any place of business permitting, requesting, or requiring a child to work nude or topless.

Possession or Promotion of Child Pornography (PC 43.26)

  • A person commits an offense if:
    • the person knowingly or intentionally possesses, or knowingly or intentionally accesses with intent to view, visual material that visually depicts a child younger than 18 years of age at the time the image of the child was made who is engaging in sexual conduct, including a child who engages in sexual conduct as a victim of an offense under Section 20A.02(a)(5), (6), (7), or (8); and
    • the person knows that the material depicts the child as described above.
  • A person commits an offense if:
    • the person knowingly or intentionally promotes or possesses with intent to promote material described above; and
    • the person knows that the material depicts the child as described above.

Electronic Transmission of Certain Visual Material Depicting Minor (PC 43.261)

  • A person who is a minor commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly:
    • by electronic means promotes to another minor visual material depicting a minor, including the actor, engaging in sexual conduct, if the actor produced the visual material or knows that another minor produced the visual material; or
    • possesses in an electronic format visual material depicting another minor engaging in sexual conduct, if the actor produced the visual material or knows that another minor produced the visual material.

Possession or Promotion of Lewd Visual Material Depicting Child (PC 43.262)

  • A person commits an offense if the person knowingly possesses, accesses with intent to view, or promotes visual material that:
    • depicts the lewd exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of an unclothed, partially clothed, or clothed child who is younger than 18 years of age at the time the visual material was created;
    • appeals to the prurient interest in sex; and
    • has no serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

If you would like to discuss your case with an attorney, call my office at 888-403-0383 for a free consultation, or you can fill out THIS FORM and I will review the information and call you to discuss your case.

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