Every state has a wide range of federal and state crime categories. However, sex offenses constitute some of the most damaging, scarring, and deathly crimes for most victims. Unlike theft, burglary, or mugging, most people struggle to recover from sexual offenses due to their severe psychological effects. In fact, sex crimes are the leading cause of PTSD, bipolar disorders, and depression among most people.

While numerous factors contribute to sex crimes, one common factor is that perpetrators are solely the ones responsible for such incidents. In other words, sex crimes are the outcome of the culprits’ strong sense of entitlement and implementation of power and control against a marginalized person of a community. Conventional gender roles play a massive role in the targeted victimization resulted from sex crimes in several communities.

Tijuana, the sixth-largest city of Mexico, is known for its rising crime rate. With 134 homicides per 100,000 persons, it’s one of the most violent cities in the world. Mexico has seen a significant surge in sex crimes such as gender-based homicides and assault in the past few years. According to the University of San Diego research group Justice in Mexico, there was a 130% increase in sex crimes in Mexico from 2015 through 2019.

With the rising risk of sex crimes in Tijuana, Baja California, it’s critical to remain aware of what crime can be regarded as a sex crime. Moreover, we must stay informed about the laws the state has put in place to prevent their occurrence and provide victims with justice.

Here are some sex crime laws in Tijuana you must know about.

Indecent Exposure

Contrary to popular belief, indecent exposure is a significant sex crime in most countries. It involves a person knowingly and intentionally exposing their genitals in front of the public to escalate harassment and discomfort.

a man in a black suit

According to Mexican Law, anyone involved in indecent exposure of the primary genital area will be charged guilty of a misdemeanor. The punishment for this sex crime includes $1,000 in fines, six months in prison, and the potential revocation or suspension of a person’s liquor license.

Additionally, the court may order the perpetrator to participate in and complete a professional counseling program at their own expense as a penalty for committing indecent exposure.


Mexico doesn’t have any federal legislation to regulate sex work. However, the Mexican government entitles each state to regulate or outlaw sex work, keeping the concerned parties’ health, security, and safety in mind.

Tijuana’s red-light district permits prostitution in its designated tolerance zone, also known as “zona de tolerancia”. However, sex workers in Tijuana must obtain a permit card and acquire monthly health checkups to qualify for legal prostitution. Medical testing is a critical component of the regulation of prostitution in Tijuana.

The Tijuana City Council passed a law in June 2005, mandating all active prostitutes to have monthly exams to check and seek care for sexually transmitted diseases. Furthermore, brothel owners and prostitution regulators must adopt sanitary practices at all times.

a symbol of regulated prostitution

Their failure to meet the city regulations can lead to losing their business licenses and stiff fines. The city also provides active prostitutes with advanced credentials to ensure their safety. Their new license has their photo and a magnetic strip to inspect their medical status on hand-held scanners.

Despite having a few laws against prostitution, Tijuana continues to regulate it due to its decade-long history of thriving due to bars, racetracks, casinos, and brothels.


Tijuana is a hub of sexual violence, including rape. The National Crime Victimization Survey of 2005 indicates there are 191,670 victims of attempted rape, rape, or sexual assault. It means the city had one rape every 2½ minutes during that year. Experts refer to rape as a “pandemic” in Tijuana even though only 30% of rapes are reported to law enforcement officials.

an injured woman

The primary rape and sexual assault victims are women, with a higher sex crime prevalence among younger cohorts. 1 in 5 women may be willing to report rape incidents, while most of the cases remain unreported.

The Mexican legislation has induced stiff penalties for people charged with rape and sexual assault. These include 20 years in prison.

Gender-Based Violence

Mexico is one of the most violent states with some of the world’s highest gender-based violence rates. The National Institute of Statistics and Geography in Mexico reports that 66.1% of Mexican women of ages 15 or old experience violence in their lifetime—with 49.5% suffering from emotional abuse, 34% from physical abuse, 29% from emotional-patrimonial discrimination, and 41.3% from sexual violence.

78.6% of women don’t seek help or report sexual crime incidents to the authorities in Mexico.

Mexico reported its implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in 2016. Paragraph 103 of this report explains the Federal Criminal Code and 32 federative entities’ criminal codes ensuring the protection of vulnerable groups against sexual crimes.

a woman’s hands tied with rope

According to this report, anyone charged with a sexual violence crime is punishable by an imprisonment of 1 to 7 years. They may also lose their rights, primarily when related to the victim, such as parental rights and inheritance. The Mexican legislation criminalizes marital rape and regards 32 forms of sexual abuse as a criminal offense.

If you or someone you know is looking for legal representation, counseling, or defense against a sex crime charge in Tijuana, Mexico, feel free to reach out to the criminal defense attorneys at Meneses Legal. Their sex crime lawyers specialize in helping their clients achieve the best possible case results when accused of federal and state crimes. You can now call them at (664) 500-6896 to request their assistance today!

About the Author

The author is a renowned criminal defense attorney and contributor to a prominent criminal law journal in the United States. As an attorney with 15 years of experience, he has extensive experience in complex, gender-based crimes, especially in sensitive matters like prostitution, domestic violence, and sex trafficking.