During the evening of May 1, 2018, Allegheny County Police arrested Patrick Barron, 53, at a home in Beechview, Pennsylvania following a prostitution investigation.
Court records show that Barrow was charged with various acts of promoting prostitution, including one count of procuring an inmate for house of prostitution (a third degree felony); one count of soliciting, receiving, or agreeing to receive any benefit from promoting prostitution(a second degree misdemeanor); one count of leasing or otherwise permitting a place … to be regularly used for prostitution or the promotion of prostitution …(a second degree misdemeanor); and, one count of possessing instruments of crime (a first degree misdemeanor). Barrow was arraigned the next day and was released on recognizance.
CBS reported that Allegheny police responded to an online advertisement for commercial sex. The advertisement allegedly provided pricing, appointment slots, and the location of the house in Beechview. Officers entered the house and allegedly found Barrow arraigning appointments online. According to CBS, neighbors witnessed a lot of traffic in and out of the house.
A preliminary hearing in this case was held on May 2, 2018. Formal arraignment is scheduled for May 14, 2018 but was continued until June 6, 2018.
The CSE Institute applauds Allegheny County investigators in making this arrest. However, we encourage prosecutors to utilize the human trafficking laws in Pennsylvania to bring additional charges against Barrow, if appropriate. A person commits the crime of trafficking individuals if the person knowingly benefits financially or receives anything of value from activities describe previously.
Moreover, 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. The Nordic Model is an approach that aims to curb the demand for commercial sex that fuels trafficking and connects prostituted persons with the assistance services they need to exist “the life.” By targeting those facilitating prostitution rather than targeting those selling sex, local authorities are recognizing the vulnerability of those in prostitution while simultaneously holding the actors profiting from exploitation accountable.
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.