Law Office of Kimberly N. Shanklin, PLLC.
Serving Denton County Since 2002
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Employment Harmful to Children

Employment Harmful to Children

Chapter 43 of the Texas Penal Code defines charges and punishments for offenses of public indecency.

“Employment Harmful to Children”, as per § 43.251 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when a 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.

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 victim is younger than 14 years of age at the time the offense is committed, regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the victim at the time of the offense.

Conduct under this section constitutes an offense regardless of whether the actor knows the age of the child at the time of the offense.

"Child" means a person younger than 18 years of age. "Massage" has the meaning assigned to the term "massage therapy" by Section 455.001, Occupations Code. "Massage establishment" has the meaning assigned by Section 455.001, Occupations Code.

"Nude" means a child who is:

  • entirely unclothed; or

  • 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.

"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.

"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.

Severity of Crime

Second Degree FelonY

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 20 years or less than two years

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

First Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for life, or

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 99 years or less than five years with the exception of aggravated sexual assault, which adds a 25-year minimum punishment if the victim is younger than 6, or younger than 14 and the offense contained threats of serious bodily injury or death, or use of a deadly weapon

  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000