A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh has indicted Adrian Petty, 26, of Buffalo, New York, on a charge of child trafficking. Petty was charged for having “knowingly transported a minor victim across state lines, from New York to Pennsylvania, with the intent that the minor victim engage in prostitution and otherwise illegal sexual activity.” The FBI, along with help from police from Monroeville, Cheektowaga, New York and the Erie Crime Analysis Center investigated Petty. This case was brought forward as part of Operation Trafficking Ends Now (T.E.N.), which is a coalition that was formed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Pennsylvania to foster collaboration among law enforcement, communities, and non-profit partners in 25 Western Pennsylvania counties. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca L. Sillinski, who serves as the human trafficking coordinator for the Western District’s U.S. Attorney’s office and oversees Operation T.E.N., will be prosecuting the case against Petty.
While in this case the minor victim was allegedly transported from New York to Pennsylvania, it is a common misperception that human trafficking involves moving, traveling or transporting a person across state or national borders. The reality is that human trafficking does not require any movement. Commercial sex involving an adult is human trafficking if the person providing sex acts is doing so as a result of force, fraud or coercion; all commercial sex involving a minor is legally human trafficking.
The CSE Institute applauds law enforcement in this case for prosecuting Petty as a sex trafficker. By targeting those who traffic victims and targeting those who buy sex, law enforcement officials are able to cause a decrease in the demand for purchasing sex. By decreasing the demand for commercial sex, traffickers will no longer perpetuate harm to victims, because there will be no demand to cater to, therefore, decreasing the number of victims of sex trafficking. The CSE Institute will provide updates as this case progresses.