Scranton, Pa

Cumberland County Targets and Arrests Prostituted Persons in Prostitution Sting

Posted: December 19, 2016

On Wednesday, December 14, 2016, East Pennsboro Township police arrested 25-year-old Sheneka Jenkin of Buffalo, NY and 20-year-old Andrea Barron of Niagara Falls, NY. After receiving prostitution reports at a Camp Hill hotel, officers, along with the Cumberland County Drug Task Force, set up an undercover prostitution sting in an effort to arrest the prostituted women. Police also found advertisements for both of the women on Police reportedly found Jenkin in a hotel room “with a large amount of condoms, a large amount of cash and ‘prostitution clothing.’” Police found Barron in another room.

Both Jenkin and Barron have been charged with misdemeanor of the third degree prostitution under 18 Pa CS § 5902(a). A misdemeanor of the third degree carries the potential for one year of imprisonment[1] and the possibility of additionally being fined up to $2,500.[2] Both women reportedly have criminal histories of prostitution, however, not in Pennsylvania.

The CSE Institute is disheartened by the policing strategy targeting those who sell sex. Prostituted persons often have little choice in selling sex. Frequently those who sell sex do so for survival purposes—they are often homeless, undereducated, or unemployed. The CSE Institute advocates for the Nordic Model, or policing strategies to instead focus on arresting the criminally culpable party who retains choice in their actions—those who purchase humans for sex—as an effective means of decreasing the overall amount of prostitution, sex trafficking, and commercial sexual exploitation. Those who buy sex create demand for commercial sex. Traffickers recognize this lucrative opening in the market and thus force, defraud, and coerce women and girls into prostitution. The most effective means therefore, to decrease not just prostitution, but sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation as a whole, is to target those who buy sex and are responsible for driving the commercial sex industry. Without demand for commercial sex, traffickers will not find trafficking attractive, and prostitution, sex trafficking, and commercial sexual exploitation will decrease.

[1] 18 Pa. C.S. § 1104(3)

[2] § 1101(6)

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