Scranton, Pa

Office of Children & Youth Services Employee Charged with Human Trafficking

Posted: February 7, 2020

On January 23rd, 2020, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office announced the arrest of a woman entrusted with protecting and advocating for children through her work at the Office of Children and Youth Services (CYS). Candace Talley, 27, of Sicklerville, New Jersey, was arrested for human trafficking, promoting prostitution, and charges for abuse of power and authority while working for CYS in Media, Pennsylvania.

While working as a case manager in 2017, Talley allegedly recruited women to work as prostituted persons for an extensive prostitution ring. According to the District Attorney’s office, she allegedly recruited a mother whose children were in foster care under Talley’s management at CYS. Talley allegedly transported the victim to meet with sex buyers, while she allegedly collected over 25% of the proceeds for her own personal profit. Talley allegedly made promises to these women, including to falsify drug test results or to guarantee favorable custody recommendations for their children, in order to enlist these women into her alleged operation. Talley was taken into custody in the morning on January 23rd. Her preliminary hearing has been scheduled for February 10, 2020.

Talley faces six charges. Some are more significant than others, given her status as a government official at the time. She was charged with two second-degree felonies for human trafficking – for recruiting, enticing or soliciting her victims, and for knowingly benefitting financially from their exploitation. Talley was charged with a third-degree felony for promoting prostitution by encouraging her victims to prostitute themselves. With regards to her alleged status as a government official, Talley was charged with a second-degree misdemeanor for official oppression, which highlights the gross misuse of power in this case – especially when the government official interacted with vulnerable women and children in her regular duties with CYS. Additional charges include criminal coercion, a first-degree misdemeanor, and a first-degree felony for corrupt organizations – a charge specifically for organized crime and racketeering. All these charges reflect the significance of Talley’s position with CYS to enable this alleged extortion and abuse against vulnerable women.

The CSE Institute commends the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office for pursuing these charges and taking affirmative action against human trafficking in Pennsylvania. The CSE Institute urges District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer to add additional charges against Talley to address the means allegedly used against her victim. Further, the CSE Institute enthusiastically applauds the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office for pursuing charges specifically related to Talley’s alleged abuse of power in her role as a case manager at CYS, which allegedly permitted exploitation against women in hugely disadvantaged positions and at the mercy of her own discretion.

We will keep you updated as this matter proceeds through the court system.

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