A worsening culture is feeding sex slavery in America and Texas. It’s a major reason why this vampiric enterprise is plaguing the Lone Star State.

Throughout this investigative series, Texas Scorecard has examined the craterous damage sex slavery leaves on its victims, how Texas is a major hub for this horrendous slave trade, and actions that state public servants took in 2019 in response. We also examined how Gov. Greg Abbott and local public servants’ 2020 shutdown orders in response to the Chinese coronavirus hindered efforts to fight the immoral market, and how a number of the state’s anti-sex slavery efforts missed their own internal goals. In the previous article of this series, we shared that while Texas has the strongest anti-sex slavery laws in the nation, they aren’t being enforced.

Texas has a long pattern of such behavior, and it only changes when it’s publicly exposed, as happened in 1973 when investigative reporter Marvin Zindler exposed public servants’ toleration of two brothels operating east of Austin. His reporting led to then-Gov. Dolph Briscoe forcing them to be shut down.

Such history indicates that while state lawmakers have, and continue to pass, strong laws against sex slavery, it will take public exposure and pressure to ensure such laws are being followed.

During the 2023 legislative session, multiple proposals were introduced to address lawless district attorneys—from the Senate and the House—in matters other than election integrity. One passed the Legislature and was sent to Gov. Greg Abbott for signature. This proposal, House Bill 17, empowers a resident to petition for removing a prosecuting attorney from office if he or she believes that attorney refuses “to prosecute specific criminal offenses under state law.”

But enforcing the law is only half the battle. The other half, according to subject specialist Jaco Booyens, is fixing out culture, since it is feeding this evil trade.

Culture War

Most looking around today can tell that America is in the midst of a culture war, with the very soul of the nation at stake. That soul is showing signs of rot.

“The culture has lost its morality. [It] is not frowning upon the concept of sex with children as it used to,” Booyens told Texas Scorecard. Ever since his younger sister was taken into sex slavery, and later rescued, he has dedicated himself to fighting the international flesh market. That’s the purpose of his organization Jaco Booyens Ministries. His faith in Jesus Christ also gives him a larger view of the cultural war. “If you look at the peripheral conversations going on of drag shows for kids, or transgender, surgery, etc, culture is being numbed to a degree.”

It even goes beyond attitudes towards children, but an overall attitude towards morality. “Whether we like it or not, we have in Texas embraced immorality,” Jaco said. “We’re conservative, and we’re capitalist, and we’re constitutionalist. That’s great. But are you addicted to porn? Do you demand sexually exploitative content? Do you purchase sex?”

According to Texas Human Trafficking, by Megan Ladd and Elizabeth Jones, sex trafficking (also known as sex slavery) “includes prostitution, pornography, mail-order brides, and other non-consensual sex work.” The report also stated that “examples of identified child trafficking cases involved stripping, pornography, forced begging, commercial sex, magazine crews, drug sales, and the cultivation of illegal products.”

The connection to pornography is reported elsewhere. In December 2019, Dr. Brad Klein, Associate Director of the Southern Methodist University Embrey Human Rights Program, told The Daily Campus, that pornography’s rise can, when it comes to views on sexual intercourse, result in psychological and problematic views. “It’s a way of not seeing people as people.” Jessica Brazeal, Chief Programs Officer at Dallas nonprofit New Found New Life, shared about how the organization had started a project where men would go to local high schools and warn about the effects pornography can have on the human brain, and make it more likely a mature adult will buy sex.

Selene Rodriguez of the Texas Public Policy Foundation also discussed the connection of pornography with sex slavery. “We do know that the more that they look into it, the more that these people—and it usually ends up being minors—are being held against their will to perform these egregious acts,” she said.

Jaco called out the Christian church for not discussing the dangerous visual narcotic called pornography, and the importance of fighting it. “We’re gonna eradicate sex trafficking, but I’m so addicted to porn? It won’t happen,” he said. “Ultimately, to eradicate this, you need to have less buyers. Supply meets demand; demand doesn’t meet supply. We in Texas demand sexually exploitative content, and we demand sexual purchase.”

There are those who argue that legalizing supply would solve the problem, but critics disagree. In part three of this investigative series, Texas Scorecard shared the story of a Dallas citizen’s fight to ban brothels she alleges are dressed up as massage parlors in her city. We are using the pseudonym of “Jane” for her, as she requested her identity be hidden. Jane said that while she differentiates between a woman who willingly prostitutes herself and those forced into it, that doesn’t mean she favors legalization. “Legalizing prostitution does not fix this problem,” she told Texas Scorecard. “In cities that have legalized prostitution, in countries that have legalized prostitution, human trafficking has increased. That’s because there’s never enough supply for the demand.”

Rodriguez raises concern about those who allegedly prostitute themselves willingly. She had noted that “most of the time” they have substance abuse or mental health issues. “They’re trying to feed an addiction, or they really don’t know any better because they have no mental health support, no housing, no income,” she told Texas Scorecard. “Those are the two driving factors to that, if you want to call it consent. I still wouldn’t even call it consent.”

Fatherless Epidemic

America has an epidemic of no fathers in families. In December 2019, the Pew Research Center reported that the United States of America had “the highest rate of children living in single-parent” homes worldwide. In March 2021, an opinion piece published by The Hill stated that “in 2020 nearly 19 million children, amounting to 25 percent of all children in the U.S., were living in single-parent families,” and “more than 80 percent of American children in single-parent families live with the mother only.”

The collapse of the nuclear family has nuked the cultural defenses for our children. “By default, when a child’s fatherless, they are a soft target for a predator,” Jaco warned. In fact, according to him, single-mother homes make a child more vulnerable to sex slavery. He and his enslaved sister were born in one.

“What’s the one thing that’s almost always prevalent at least more than 50 percent of the time [in these cases]? It would be that there’s not a father in the picture,” he said. “A girl that is raised without a father has a gigantic hole in her life. There’s a need; there’s a hankering for a male role model. The predator knows that, and the predator will speak into that child’s life as a father figure in order to earn her trust.” This trust, Jaco explained, is then abused, mostly due to the internet, to coerce the victim to self-compromise. This can take the form of naked photos sent to the predator or engaging in sexual conversation through text messages. “Now, shame and guilt [and] condemnation comes in … now the threats come in of exposure.”

This factor becomes especially potent when combined with the cultural war to emasculate men, with cultural Marxists and woke activists constantly extrapolating the actions of bad actors and applying them to all men. Thus the advent of the term “toxic masculinity.”

On top of this, according to Jaco, the Texas court system is anti-father. “Look at the statistics of the court system, intentionally not giving a father access to the child,” he said. “All of this combined is a cocktail for disaster. And the predator is sitting back saying, ‘This is easy pickings.’”

This collapse of the family also coincides with what Jaco says is now the primary way children get taken into sex slavery. Not through strangers, but those familiar to the child.

Dangers Close to Home

Kidnapping used to be the predominant form of sex slavery, but the predators have adapted. “One percent of sex trafficking is kidnapping related—only one percent,” Jaco said. “47 percent of all sex trafficking cases in America is at the hands of what we would call a caregiver, a parent, a coach, a youth pastor, a trusted figure.” This is what he called “familial trafficking,” and it’s the fastest-growing form of sex slavery. “Today, it is safer for the predator if a child’s not removed from their environment. If the child shows up at school, and still plays Little League Baseball, and still makes cheer squad, it’s better for the predator if it can be hidden in plain sight.”

It is here as well where we see the effects of fatherless families.

“The predominant figure in familial trafficking is actually mothers, and it is a phenomenon. It’s a very, very complex condition of those mothers who traffic their children,” Jaco explained. “When we catch them, north of 97 percent of them were either trafficked themselves, were sexually abused themselves.”

Failed Trust and Restoring Culture

One of the mantras of the sexual revolution in the 1960s was “free love.” Yet today, what we are seeing fits more of what Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:12 of the Holy Bible (King James Version): “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

Popular culture today is pushing gender dysphoria on children. Government schools are grooming children, and public servants are not enforcing the law. In fact, according to Jaco, there are wolves among our public servants in government.

“The very systems that we trust to protect children are the very systems used to abuse children … our foster care system is an absolute disaster for sex trafficking of minors,” he told Texas Scorecard. “We have a whistleblower inside our documentary, a [Child Protective Services] whistleblower, that blows the whistle on the numbers of sex trafficking victims inside CPS in the system.” Booyens clarified he was referring to CPS nationwide, and the whistleblower can be seen in his documentary film Sex Nation, which premiered in January 2023.

In such a situation, whereas a society do we go from here? How do we start restoring our Texas culture and fighting sex slavery? In Part 3 of this series, Jaco explained the answer is two-fold. First, our public servants must enforce the law. Jaco shared some hope that this is achievable based on results in Atlanta, Georgia. “They were number one for probably 15 straight years, and a lot of that has to do with the geographic location of Georgia,” he said. While they’re still in the top ten of cities for sex trafficking, they’re not number one anymore. It started with every sheriff and police department working together for five years to get Atlanta out of being number one. They did awareness campaigns in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and every truck stop. They started enforcing the law too. “They made a massive dent … and so you can dig yourself out of this. We can as Texans, but it takes action not just a law on the books.”

Another law that should be enforced, according to Rodriguez, is securing Texas’ open border. It’s through here that the Mexican drug cartels flow children, criminals, and narcotics into our state. Texans for Strong Borders has called for Texas to declare an invasion and repel illegal immigrants, as well as other border security measures.

The second part of the key to this is restoring our culture, which starts with restoring the nuclear family and the home. “This is not something that a president or a community can fix. This is going to fall on the family,” he said.

Parents will have to reassert their responsibility for raising and training their children, and not passing it off to anyone else. And the importance of fathers must be recognized and elevated.

“You can no longer expect the community, or the school, or even church systems to raise your child, they do not share your values. They do not have your child’s best interests at heart as you do,” Jaco said. “That burden now once again falls upon the household, the nuclear family, the father stepping in and earning the heart of his children, the mother stepping in, and truly tackling these things in the family unit.”

This involves personally conquering addictions to pornography. It involves parents having age-appropriate conversations with their children about sex, warning them about predators, and helping them with any addictions they may have to pornography. It also involves working out from within the family, and having conversations with one’s pastor, school board, and community. Jaco said a number of resources can be found at his ministry’s website. There you can also learn more about what legislative actions Jaco Booyens Ministries is involved in on fighting sex slavery.

Jaco also advised spreading the word by hosting watch parties of his documentary Sex Nation. “There’s no exploitive content,” he said. “It is 40 experts from around this industry all sharing their expertise of where we are, how we got here, and how we get out of it.”

There’s one more important piece he shared: his faith in Jesus Christ. In part one of this series, Jaco said that the success rate of restoring a victim of sex trafficking in America is 2.5 percent. Of that small percentage, the vast majority of success stories are connected with Christ. In his experience, that is the key ingredient to restoring these lives. “This is documented: over 95 percent of the success stories [of restored lives] come from organizations that have a faith affiliation, a Judeo-Christian values set,” he explained. “There is no way to restore these lives without God. There’s no way to restore the identity of a human being that’s this crushed other than introducing them to a Savior that loves them and has created them for a reason.”

For the future of our state and children, it will be up to Texans to hold public servants accountable and for each family to work to restore our culture.

This article was updated to reflect the passage of House Bill 17, which is intended to hold lawless prosecuting attorneys accountable.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.