The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced on March 19, 2019, that Fredrick Brown, age 37, of Monroe County was found guilty by a jury of one count of sex trafficking by force and coercion and one count of sex trafficking of a minor by force and coercion. Brown was also found guilty of one count of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to traffic drugs. He faces a maximum combined penalty of life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.
The Department of Justice’s press release reveals that, between 2011 and 2014, Brown trafficked multiple women across state lines for the purpose of engaging in commercial sex. He frequently used violence and intimidation to force his victims to comply with his demands. Additionally, he plied his victims with controlled substances such as Adderall, MDMA, and ecstasy to keep them awake and working so as to increase his profits. One of Brown’s victims was a seventeen-year-old at the time.
This case was brought as a part of “Project Safe Childhood,” which is a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat child commercial sexual exploitation. Launched in May of 2006, Project Safe Childhood unites federal, state, and local resources to apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children as well as to identify and rescue child victims. The U.S. Attorneys’ Office and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section lead this project.
The CSE Institute congratulates the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their successful investigation and prosecution of this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean A. Camoni, who successfully prosecuted the case, affirmed his office’s commitment to combating commercial sexual exploitation in a statement to the Institute: “Sex trafficking of this kind is something this office takes very seriously and will continue to prosecute aggressively.” As advocates of the Nordic Model, we are encouraged to see law enforcement and prosecutors dedicated to holding the perpetrators of such heinous crimes accountable.
The CSE Institute also commends the brave survivors for their testimony and strength to stand up and share their story against the atrocities committed by their trafficker. We, as is AUSA Camoni, are in awe of them. He further noted in his statement: “The five survivors who testified in this trial were brave enough to face their trafficker and tell their stories. The jury heard directly from the women who suffered at the hands of this defendant, and the verdict reflects that.”
Brown mainly worked out of a hotel in Bartonsville, Pennsylvania. The operator and manager of that hotel were indicted in 2017 by a federal grand jury. The indictment alleges that, for three years, both the hotel and manager facilitated and profited from drug and sex trafficking occurring on the premises. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sean A. Camoni and Jenny P. Roberts are prosecuting that case as well. The CSE previously reported on that here.
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.