On October 18, 2018, the Lancaster City Bureau of Police Selective Enforcement Unit conducted an undercover operation in Lancaster with the goal of targeting customers of street-level prostituted persons. The sting resulted in the arrest of eight male sex buyers.
According to media accounts, all eight sex buyers were initially charged with one count of patronizing a prostitute (a third-degree misdemeanor) and one count of criminal solicitation (a third-degree misdemeanor): Aaron Riley, 35 of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Amber Tamang, 29 of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Jose Blanco-Hechavarria, 50 of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Elam King, 66 of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; John Frederick, 77 of Manheim, Pennsylvania; Allen Bates, 49 of Kirkwood, Pennsylvania; Emilio Borque, 33 of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Curtis Lucas, 51 of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Bates was also charged two counts of intentionally possessing a controlled substance by a nonregistered user (a misdemeanor) and one count of use of, or possession with intent to use, drug paraphernalia (a misdemeanor).
Additionally, Cody Bernice Boas, 40 of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was arrested during the sting on outstanding drug distribution warrants. Four criminal complaints were filed against her. In total, she was charged with four counts of manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or delivery (a felony) and five counts of conspiracy to manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture (a felony). She was also charged with one count of criminal use of communication facility (a third-degree felony).
According to Fox 43, a female officer posed as a prostituted person and agreed to exchange sexual acts for money with each of the eight alleged sex buyers. Subsequently, all eight were arrested without incident.
The CSE Institute applauds the Lancaster City Bureau of Police Selective Enforcement Unit for targeting those who buy sex with this recent operation. As advocates of the Nordic Model, we support criminalizing and targeting those who purchase sex rather than those being exploited. We hope that law enforcement agencies will continue to recognize that targeting purchasers of sex rather than those being exploited is the best strategy for ending commercial sexual exploitation.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or Villanova University.