An anti-sex trafficking advocate who worked for an Austin, Texas, organization aimed at helping victims of human trafficking was arrested in Austin, Texas, during a week-long prostitution sting. Austin cops arrested him during an operation that landed 41 people in the Travis County jail.
Nathaniel Schlueter served on the board of directors of The Refuge Ranch. The ranch is a Christian-based organization dedicated to helping teenage victims of human trafficking, according to the Houston Chronicle. The Refuge Ranch’s founder and director, Brooke Crowder, told reporters with KXAN that they removed Schlueter from the board and he is “no longer involved in any aspect of the organization.”
Schleuter allegedly approached an undercover officer posing as a prostitute and negotiated a deal for $30 for sexual favors, according to the arrest warrant obtained by KXAN.
“Even though one has been arrested in this way there are still many, many many who are doing great work and I hope folks continue to support them,” said Restore a Voice founder Larry Megason in a KXAN interview. He stressed he believes most people involved in helping the victims of human trafficking have their hearts in the right place.
Of the 41 people arrested in the sting that ran during the week of October 20-24, 28 were men who were charged with purchasing prostitution, a Class B misdemeanor, according to an Austin police statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.
Other misdemeanor arrests include five women arrested for prostitution (one of these has an additional warrant pending), also a class B misdemeanor. Two additional women were arrested on state jail felony charges of prostitution. There were six other unspecified misdemeanor arrests made during the sting and three felony charges were filed.
A man included in the misdemeanor arrests was also charged with felony evading after he attempted to flee in his vehicle. A second man received a felony drug possession charge in addition to the prostitution charge. A woman received a felony charge of resisting arrest along with a pedestrian in the roadway charge after she attempted to interfere in the sting operation.
The Refuge Ranch is a Christian-based center designed to help women who are victims of human trafficking. It is located on a 50-acre compound near Austin, according to its website.
Earlier this month, McAllen police also conducted a prostitution sting that landed eleven men and five women in jail on related charges, the Chronicle reported. The men arrested range in ages from 22-83. All of those arrested in this operation received class B misdemeanor charges of prostitution.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.