On August 2nd, 2021, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania announced that Kevin Smith, a twenty-seven year old man from Philadelphia was indicted for operating a sex trafficking enterprise in Philadelphia, Bucks, and Delaware counties. Smith faces charges for sex trafficking by force and sex trafficking a minor. The case against Smith was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation along with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, the Bensalem Police Department, and the Philadelphia Police Department.
When discussing the indictment, Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams stated that “[t]he crimes Smith is accused of committing are some of the most devasting to victims that our office prosecutes. Allegedly, this defendant forced four young people, one a minor child, to sell their bodies for his financial gain. We will continue to work collectively to investigate these destructive crimes against the most vulnerable victims.”
The indictment alleges that in September 2019, Smith trafficked a minor victim in Philadelphia. Smith knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, maintained a minor for the purposes of forcing that minor to engage in commercial sex acts over the course of seven days. The indictment further alleges that from July 2015 to July 2017 Smith operated a sex trafficking enterprise. In the operation of that enterprise, Smith trafficked three different victims by using physical threats to force the women to sell sex in exchange for money. If convicted, Smith faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison.
Michael J. Driscoll, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division, made the following statement in regard to Smith’s case: “Using physical threats to control another human being, to force them into sexual exploitation, is unconscionable. Kevin Smith allegedly did just that to three young women – and a child. The FBI will never stop working to find and help trafficked victims, to protect them from further abuse and keep their traffickers from hurting anyone else.”
The CSE Institute commends the work of the FBI, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, the Bensalem Police Department, the Philadelphia Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and their fight against sex traffickers in this case. Such efforts by law enforcement help in the fight to end commercial sexual exploitation and protect victims from further harm from their traffickers. We will provide updates on this matter as it proceeds.