Sex robot brothel planned for Houston gets pushback from religious group

Mayra Moreno Image
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Sex robot brothel planned for Houston gets pushback
ABC13's Mayra Moreno reports on the planned opening of a sex robot brothel in Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It seems the days of the blow-up dolls are a thing of the past. Now, more realistic robots are stepping in.

"As disgusting as some people may find it, I think under the law, it's legal," said Steve Shellist, a lawyer.

One man whose company is currently in Toronto has told media outlets there's a big market for his sex robots, and he's planning to bring his robot brothel to the Bayou City.

"As we sit here today those types of products being sold, used or rented is legal," he said.

Shellist said there's a statute in the Texas penal code that would make this business illegal, but that law banning those types of businesses was ruled unconstitutional 10 years ago.

"So right now, the behavior that is listed in the statute is constitutionally, permissible. So, yes, he can come here and set up shop," Shellist said.

Not so fast, though. One local organization who caught wind of it is quickly trying to press the brakes. There's already a petition online.

"We were absolutely horrified," said Micah Gamboa, with Elijah Rising.

Leaders of Elijah Rising have been cracking down on human trafficking and feel that this type of "robot brothel" will only set them back.

"Our biggest concern is that this sex brothel with robots is gonna train men to become rapists," Gamboa said. "What's next? Is it child robots? Where's the line? Where is the boundary?"

Each "doll" has a name, a look and price tag in the thousands of dollars, if you want to buy one. But customers can also "rent before they buy," getting a room and a doll of their choice where they can "play and have fun" ..."fulfilling fantasies without limitations," according to the website.

"We can't allow these kind of public masturbation businesses to operate in our city," Gamboa said.

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