David Rezykowski of Falls, Pennsylvania allegedly used social media to solicit sex from a girl he believed to be 15 years old. Kingston police told media that Rezykowski made his intentions clear on August 2, 2020, when he tried to plan a sexual encounter with undercover officers posing as a young girl online. Rezykowski allegedly offered the fictitious 15-year-old a $100 allowance in exchange for “being a good girl”. He was arrested at the planned meeting site and taken into custody.
He has been charged with several different felony counts of unlawful contact with a minor, as well as one count of criminal use of a communication facility, and one count of patronizing prostitutes. His bail has been set at $100,000. The CSE Institute applauds the Kingston Police Department’s use of demand-driven investigations to make this arrest. Targeting those who buy sex is a vital means to curbing commercial sexual exploitation, overall.
However, Rezykowski should also be charged under Chapter 30, Pennsylvania’s comprehensive human trafficking statute. In fact, under both Federal and state law, Rezykowski’s alleged actions constitute human trafficking. Persons who solicit sex from a minor (someone under the age of 18) in exchange for something of value can and should be charged with a trafficking offense. Buying or attempting to buy sex from minors is per se trafficking.
Further, charging Rezykowski with the crime of patronizing prostitutes is extremely inappropriate. In Pennsylvania, and many other states across the country, minors cannot be charged with the crime of prostitution under what is commonly referred to as “Safe Harbor” laws. Since minors cannot legally consent to being sexually exploited, charging Rezykowski with patronizing prostitutes is a severe mischaracterization of the crime. There is no such thing as a child prostitute. We hope that jurisdictions in the Commonwealth, and in this instance the Luzerne County District Attorney, will discontinue charging child sex buyers with patronizing prostitutes and begin using the correct statutes in Chapter 30 to properly address egregious offenses such as this.