On August 29, 2019, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that William Battle, 28, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, pled guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force and coercion. Battle will remain in custody pending sentencing, which will be scheduled at a later date. He faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.
Battle admitted to being a member of the Black P-Stones, a street gang that engaged in both sex and drug trafficking in the Stroudsburg area as well as in the state of Maine. The Black P-Stones, including Battle, recruited women to engage in sex acts for compensation, all of which the gang collected. Gang members photographed the women and posted said photographs on the, now shuttered, Backpage.com, an online advertising website notorious for facilitating sex trafficking. They then rented hotel and motel rooms for the purpose of having the women engage in commercial sex acts with sex buyers. They also transported the women to and from the rented hotel and motel rooms. The women, after having been “sexed in” to the gang by being forced to engage in sex with multiple gang members, were threatened, physically assaulted, and provided drugs in order to engage or continue to engage in prostitution.
Battle was indicted along with ten other members of the Black P-Stones by a federal grand jury in 2015. Since then, several of Battle’s co-conspirators have similarly pled guilty to the charges against them and have subsequently been sentenced. The CSE Institute have previously covered those stories here and here.
The CSE Institute congratulates the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania State Police, Maine State Police, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, and Monroe County Police Department for their successful investigation and prosecution of this case. As zealous advocates of the Nordic Model, we are encouraged to see law enforcement and prosecutors dedicated to and collaboratively working together to combat the evil and pervasive problem that is sex trafficking.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or Villanova University.