Scranton, Pa

Florida Man Arrested for Alleged Human Trafficking in Monroe County

Posted: February 15, 2018

On February 1, 2018, 52-year-old Florida resident, John Golom, was placed in the Monroe County Correctional Facility for the alleged trafficking of two women, after several months on the run from authorities.

Court records show that Golom was charged with various acts of promoting prostitution, (a third-degree felony), and two counts of trafficking in individuals (a second-degree felony). Additionally, Golom was charged with two counts of involuntary servitude (a first-degree felony), one count of rape (a first-degree felony), one count of criminal use of a communication facility (a third-degree felony), and one count of criminal conspiracy to extort for the purpose of exposing secrets (a third-degree felony). Golom was arraigned on these charges on February 1 when he was arrested in Queens, New York after a months-long investigation on the part of the Monroe County District Attorney’s office, according to Lehigh Valley Live.

In addition to Golom’s arrest, officers also took a woman into custody that Golom allegedly forced into prostitution; her bail was set at $30,000 as she awaits a district court hearing. She is charged with five counts of promoting prostitution in addition to related charges. Another individual Golom allegedly forced into prostitution is out on bail and awaiting trial or a guilty/no-contest plea in county court. She is charged with four counts of promoting prostitution (likely a third-degree misdemeanor) and related charges.

According to Lehigh Valley Live, investigators first became aware of Golom in April of 2017 after receiving a tip that Golom had been involved in an alleged extortion attempt of an unidentified sex buyer who had allegedly fathered a child with one of the women Golom is reported to have trafficked. After a sting at a Pocono Township hotel in October of 2017, the first of Golom’s two alleged victims was arrested. Later that month, the second of his alleged victims was taken into custody at the same hotel. Information gleaned from this arrest revealed Golom’s identity as that of the man who allegedly extorted the sex buyer.

In the intervening months between these arrests and Golom’s ultimate capture, authorities learned that Golom allegedly forced both of the women found at the Pocono Township hotel into prostitution. Golom allegedly threatened both women on a regular basis, withheld their earnings, and raped one of the women at least once

The CSE Institute applauds the work of Monroe County officials in arresting Golom. However, the CSE Institute encourages Monroe County to focus on traffickers who profit from commercial sexual exploitation as opposed to criminal prosecution of the exploited individuals. The prostituted women in this case are victims of trafficking and thus should not be treated as criminals. If law enforcement were to work to fully protect the interests of victims like the ones in this case, they would opt to forgo prostitution charges. As such, the CSE Institute is hopeful that authorities will ultimately adopt the Nordic Model, an approach that aims to curb the demand for commercial sex that fuels trafficking. This model connects prostituted persons with the services they need, rather than prosecuting them for their own 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 of Villanova University.


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