Understanding the Difference Between Solicitation and Human Trafficking

June 24, 2015 by David S. Seltzer

A recent article in the online legal journal, Above the Law, discussed a typical cybersex prostitution sting in Texas that had an interesting legal twist. One of the men taken into custody that day, Aaron Watkins, turned out to be a third year Baylor law student.

Intrigued by the law student's foray into territory most attorneys only hear about from clients, the writer pointed out that Watkins was one of the few arrested that day on charges of conspiracy to commit human trafficking. The question he raised: What is the main difference between a solicitation and a human trafficking charge?

Solicitation is any request to perform a sexual act. Asking to have sex with an underage child, whether or not in exchange for a fee, is a felony offense; whereas the solicitation of a person of legal age to have sex in exchange for money is considered a misdemeanor offense in most states.

Human trafficking is a more serious, federal offense in which an individual, typically a third party, threatens, coerces, or tricks victims into the prostitution trade. As the name implies, "trafficking" involves moving victims from one location to another in order to use them as prostitutes. We’ll discuss an example of this type of crime in more detail in a subsequent post, so stay tuned.

To protect your name, your freedom and your reputation, get in touch with a qualified Florida cybercrime defense attorney at Seltzer Law, P.A. immediately at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333) for a free and confidential consultation.