On May 5, 2018, Johnstown police arrested Jared Adam Brit, 35, of the 400 block of South Street, and Michelle Lynn McGinnis-Camut, 44, of the 600 block of Chestnut Street following a criminal complaint.
Court records show that Jared Adam Brit was charged with various acts of kidnaping and promoting prostitution, including conspiracy to kidnap and facilitate a felony (a first degree felony); conspiracy to cause restraint or serious bodily injury (a first degree misdemeanor); conspiracy to transport a person within the Commonwealth with intent to promote prostitution by that person (a third degree felony); conspiracy of terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another (a first degree misdemeanor); theft(a second degree felony); intentionally possessing a controlled substance (a misdemeanor); and, the use and possession of drug paraphernalia (a misdemeanor).
Court records also reveal that Michelle Lynn McGinnis-Camut was charged with various acts of kidnaping and promoting prostitution, including kidnapping with facilitating commission of any felony or flight thereafter (a first degree felony); restraining another unlawfully in circumstances exposing him to risk of serious bodily injury (a first degree misdemeanor); false imprisonment(a second degree misdemeanor); transporting a person within the Commonwealth with intent to promote prostitution by that person (a third degree felony); simple assault (a second degree misdemeanor); terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another (a first degree misdemeanor); and, the use and possession of drug paraphernalia(a misdemeanor).
The Tribute-Democratreported that a criminal complaint was filed following allegations that McGinnis-Camut and Britt forced a woman into a house in order for her to have sex with a third person inside. The pair were arraigned that day and are currently being detained at Cambria County Prison on $500,000 bail each.
The CSE Institute applauds the Johnstown City investigators in making this arrest. However, we encourage prosecutors to utilize the human trafficking laws in Pennsylvania to bring additional charges against Brit and McGinnis-Camut, if appropriate. Investigators may also look into the possibility of whether or not McGinnis-Gamut is a victim of Brit herself or, is in fact a co-conspirator as authorities believe her to be. There are often complicated relationship and power dynamics at play between traffickers and their victims. This is exemplified by the role of a “bottom girl”, who the trafficker retains as his second in command. She is a victim of the psychological controls employed by traffickers that can turn a prostituted person into an active participant in recruiting others into prostitution.
Finally, the CSE Institute is hopeful that by focusing on traffickers who profit from commercial sexual exploitation, local authorities can further incorporate the Nordic Model into their policing practices, and connect prostituted persons with the assistance services they need to exit “the life.”
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.