The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Willie James Johnson, a fifty-seven-year-old man from Kutztown, Pennsylvania, was indicted on charges that included sex trafficking of a minor and drug trafficking by a federal grand jury on March 28, 2018.
Fox News reported that Johnson allegedly trafficked a minor in York County for commercial sex acts from September 2014 to October 15. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Northern York Regional Police Department conducted investigation on the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Schinnour will be prosecuting it.
This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide effort to address child abuse and child sexual exploitation. The United States Attorneys’ Offices and Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity section lead this project to identify and prosecute sex traffickers of children and rescue victims.
According to the Department of Justice press release, this case was also brought as part of the “Heroin Initiative,” a district-wide effort to address heroin abuse and distribution nationwide. With the assistance of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Attorneys’ Office targets drug traffickers in the Middle District of Pennsylvania and prosecutes those who commit heroin related offenses. Sex and drug trafficking are sometimes interrelated. Drugs are often used as a means of control over victims of trafficking.
The CSE Institute applauds the United States Attorneys’ Office for its efforts to provide services to child victims of trafficking. In order to properly combat trafficking, it is imperative that law enforcement provide victims with services, not sentences.
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.