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Ex parte Zavala

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

December 11, 2013

EX PARTE CHRISTOPHER RUBEN ZAVALA

Page 228

From the 226th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas. Trial Court No. 2012-CR-6759. The Honorable Sid L. Harle1, Judge Presiding[1].

For APPELLANT: Reynaldo De Los Santos, San Antonio, TX.

For APPELLEE: S. Patrick Ballantyne, Bexar County Assistant District Attorney, San Antonio, TX.

OPINION

Page 229

Rebeca C. Martinez, Judge.

Christopher Ruben Zavala appeals the denial of his pretrial habeas corpus petition asserting that Penal Code section 33.021(c), which prohibits online solicitation of a minor, is unconstitutional on its face. Tex. R. App. P. 31. We affirm the trial court's order.

Analysis

Zavala is charged with three counts of online solicitation of a minor in violation of section 33.021 of the Penal Code. Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 33.021 (West 2011). The statute provides in relevant part:

(b) A person who is 17 years of age or older commits an offense if, with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person, the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, intentionally:
(1) communicates in a sexually explicit manner with a minor; or
(2) distributes sexually explicit material to a minor.

(c) A person commits an offense if the person, over the Internet, by electronic mail or text message or other electronic message service or system, or through a commercial online service, knowingly solicits a minor to meet another person, including the actor, with the intent that the minor will engage in sexual contact, sexual intercourse, or deviate sexual intercourse with the actor or another person.

Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 33.021(b), (c). Count I charges Zavala with violating subsection (c) by knowingly soliciting over the Internet by electronic communication a minor to meet him, with the intent that the minor would engage in deviate sexual intercourse and/or sexual intercourse with him. Id. § 33.021(c). Counts II and III charge him with violating subsection (b) on two separate occasions by intentionally communicating over the Internet by electronic communication in a sexually explicit manner with a minor, with the intent to arouse or gratify his sexual desire. Id. ยง 33.021(b). Subsection (d) of the statute states that it is not a defense to prosecution under subsection (c) that: " (1) the meeting did ...


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