Scranton, Pa

Lehigh County Secures Second Conviction and Maximum Sentence Under Act 105 (2014)

Posted: June 3, 2016

The CSE Institute congratulates Deputy District Attorney Robert Schopf for securing another successful prosecution of a human trafficking case in Pennsylvania under Act 105 (2014). The conviction of Cedric Boswell, 43, is the second ever, Pennsylvania state level human trafficking conviction after a jury trial.

In April, at the conclusion of a two-day jury trial, Boswell was convicted of human trafficking, promoting prostitution, simple assault and criminal use of a cellphone. On June 1, 2016, Judge Maria Dantos sentenced Boswell to the maximum sentence allowed by statute of 13 to 26 years, in state prison.

The conviction stemmed from charges filed after Boswell’s arrest, in June 2015. The police caught Boswell outside of the Staybridge Suites, on Airport Road, in Hanover Township. The authorities were able to gather evidence that he repeatedly sold women for sex at hotels and motels across the Lehigh Valley. The evidence presented at trial showed that he was physically violent towards the victims and assaulted them when they were “disrespecting him.” Boswell’s criminal operation was not limited to the Staybridge Suites but extended across various hotels and motels, including the Super 8 Motel and the Scottish Inn.

Boswell had previously been arrested in November 2014 for prostituting a 17-year-old girl. However, the charges were later dropped because the victim’s trauma prohibited her from being able to testify.

Judge Dantos’ decision to issue a maximum sentence to Boswell is a statement to Pennsylvania that forcing women to engage in commercial sex is egregious and will be dealt with accordingly, and as Deputy District Attorney Robert Schopf said, “I don’t think the message can be any clearer.” The CSE Institute commends the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office and Deputy District Attorney Robert Schopf for continuing to lead the Commonwealth in the fight to hold traffickers accountable for their violent and unspeakable crimes.

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