Texas regulates sexually-oriented businesses that offer services, devices, and other items intended to provide sexual stimulation or sexual gratification to their customers. Using more archaic language, the statute prohibits employment at “a massage establishment, nude studio, modeling studio, love parlor, or other similar commercial enterprise the primary business of which is the offering of a service that is intended to provide sexual stimulation or sexual gratification to the customer.”

Texas also prohibits employment harmful to children at these types of establishments.

What is a “child?”

“Child” is defined for purposes of this statute as persons younger than 18 years of age.

What limitations are there on children?

Children are not permitted to work in sexually-oriented businesses including strip clubs, most adult bookstores, or other similar commercial enterprises whose primary purpose is offering services intended to provide either sexual stimulation or sexual gratification to a customer.

A person who employs a child, or authorizes the employment of a child, or induces a child to either engage in a sexually oriented commercial activity or at a place of business where they would be permitted to, asked to, or required to work nude or topless, violates the law against employment harmful to children. The word “nude” encompasses both being completely unclothed as well as being clothed in a manner that exposes any portion of the genitals, buttocks or, for females, any portion of the breast below the top of the areola. The word “topless” similarly includes uncovered breasts or breasts visible through less than fully opaque clothing below the top of the areola.

What is the punishment for employment harmful to children?

This offense is punishable based on the age of the child. For children younger than age 14, the offense is a felony in the first degree, with a five-year minimum prison sentence. For children over age 14 but younger than age 18, the offense is a felony in the second degree. This is punishable by a prison term of up to 20 years, with a two-year minimum prison sentence, as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

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[/cs_text][x_accordion][x_accordion_item title=”Penal Code Section 43.251″ open=”false”]EMPLOYMENT HARMFUL TO CHILDREN.

(a)  In this section:

(1)  “Child” means a person younger than 18 years of age.

(2)  “Massage” has the meaning assigned to the term “massage therapy” by Section 455.001, Occupations Code.

(3)  “Massage establishment” has the meaning assigned by Section 455.001, Occupations Code.

(4)  “Nude” means a child who is:

(A)  entirely unclothed;  or

(B)  clothed in a manner that leaves uncovered or visible through less than fully opaque clothing any portion of the breasts below the top of the areola of the breasts, if the child is female, or any portion of the genitals or buttocks.

(5)  “Sexually oriented commercial activity” means a massage establishment, nude studio, modeling studio, love parlor, or other similar commercial enterprise the primary business of which is the offering of a service that is intended to provide sexual stimulation or sexual gratification to the customer.

(6)  “Topless” means a female child clothed in a manner that leaves uncovered or visible through less than fully opaque clothing any portion of her breasts below the top of the areola.

(b)  A person commits an offense if the person employs, authorizes, or induces a child to work:

(1)  in a sexually oriented commercial activity;  or

(2)  in any place of business permitting, requesting, or requiring a child to work nude or topless.

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 515, Sec. 4.03

(c)  An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree, except that the offense is a felony of the first degree if the child is younger than 14 years of age at the time the offense is committed.

Text of subsection as amended by Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 938, Sec. 1

(c)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except that the offense is:

(1)  a state jail felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted one time of an offense under this section; and

(2)  a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has been previously convicted two or more times of an offense under this section.

Added by Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 783, Sec. 1, eff. Aug. 31, 1987.  Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994;  Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1420, Sec. 14.832, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 515, Sec. 4.03, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 938, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.43.htm[/x_accordion_item][/x_accordion][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]