Harrisburg, Pa

Our Work

CSE Institute Co-Founders, Director, Shea M. Rhodes and Faculty Advisor, Professor Michelle Madden Dempsey, are jointly responsible for the CSE Institute and supervising its student externs.

The CSE Institute concentrates on the following projects:

Educate and Train

  • Train local and national law enforcement agencies regarding best practices in response to CSE using an established curriculum with accompanying materials.
  • Collaborate with statewide and national stakeholders to create webinars to educate the public regarding Pennsylvania law and policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation.

Provide Legal Research and Technical Assistance

  • Perform legal research, draft legal memoranda, identify expert consultants, and develop strategies for litigating cases under Pennsylvania’s civil cause of action for victims of the sex trade.
  • Provide technical assistance to courts, as well as public and private attorneys representing the interests of victims of CSE in the criminal and civil justice systems.

Empower Survivors

  • Continue to engage with local and national survivors to ensure their experiences inform the development of policies and best practices to combat commercial sexual exploitation and are committed to engaging the survivor community in shaping our positions.
  • Host the annual Survivor Symposium to create a platform for Survivors to teach, guide and establish relationships with Pennsylvania’s stakeholders who work to combat CSE and sex trafficking.

Collect and Report on Existing Data

  • Gather information regarding the way in which cases of commercial sexual exploitation are identified and processed in the Pennsylvania criminal justice and social service systems, to identify which organizations are applying best practices in these cases.
  • Draft and publish an annual report on the state of CSE in Pennsylvania.


  • Learn More About The CSE Institute

    We welcome contact from organizations and individuals interested in more information about The CSE Institute and how to support it.

    Shea M. Rhodes, Esq.
    Tel: 610-519-7183
    Email: shea.rhodes@law.villanova.edu

    Prof. Michelle M. Dempsey
    Faculty Advisor
    Tel: 610-519-8011
    Email: dempsey@law.villanova.edu

    Contact Us »