Earlier this Summer in Pike County, two women were arrested and charged with promoting prostitution, tampering with evidence, and other related offenses. Their arrests came as a result of an investigation into what authorities believed to be a commercial sex operation occurring at a spa allegedly owned and operated by the women. According to the Pocono Record, several other persons were also arrested as a result of the investigation, including additional employees of the spa and several men who attempted to purchase sex from an undercover trooper present during the investigation. The alleged sex buyers include: Glen Khoury, 57, of Covington Township; Jason Edson, 41, of Mahwah, New Jersey; John Bowker, 75, of Newton, New Jersey; and Randy Maiella, 57, of Ledgedale, New Jersey.
The Pocono Record also reports that two additional men were charged with patronizing prostitutes under other circumstances. Those men were identified as Andrew Ford, 27, of Jermyn, and Justin Alunni, 33, of Eynon.
The CSE Institute is encouraged to see several sex buyers being charged by Pike County authorities. Those who buy sex drive the market for commercial sex, thereby encouraging human trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation. Because of this, it is imperative authorities focus on the demand for commercial sex. While those who sell sex, who have traditionally been the target of law enforcement efforts, should be offered social services that address some of the root causes of commercial sexual exploitation – poverty, trauma, lack of resources, and addiction – to name a few. The truly culpable parties here are the persons who choose to use their disposable income to engage in otherwise unwanted sex acts with prostituted persons. The onus should always be on sex buyers, as their actions not only indirectly drive the market for human trafficking, but directly contribute to the trauma of the person they are buying for sex.
All viewed expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.