On Friday, June 24, 2022, Cornell Jamar Scott-Milbourne, 26, pleaded guilty to charges of promoting prostitution and living off prostitutes. Scott-Milbourne was sentenced to time served to 23 months incarceration followed by two years of probation. We previously reported on this case in May of 2021, when Scott-Milbourne was charged with involuntary servitude, sex trafficking, aggravated assault, promoting prostitution, living off prostitutes, and indecent assault. These charges were brought after Montgomery County detectives investigated a series of incidents occurring between May 1, 2021 and May 12, 2021, in a hotel in Plymouth Meeting.
Montgomery County detectives began investigating Scott-Milbourne when they received a tip from a Hampton Inn employee. The employee told police they suspected that there was prostitution activity occurring in two rooms rented by Scott-Milbourne. After receiving the tip, detectives discovered that the hotel room’s phone number was also being used to advertise sexual services. The investigators then obtained a warrant and entered the hotel room. Once inside the hotel room, investigators found six individuals in the hotel room: three males, two females, and a baby. One of the female victims told detectives they had sex with multiple men a day for money and that all the money was given to Scott-Milbourne. The victim also told detectives that Scott-Milbourne sexually assaulted her, threatened her, and gave her drugs.
The CSE Institute notes that hotels and motels are among the most common venues for facilitating and financially benefitting from sex trafficking. These venues provide both easy entry and financial secrecy for sex buyers. The Trafficking Victim’s Protection Act and the Pennsylvania Crimes Code both provide means to hold hotels criminally accountable and civilly liable for sex trafficking happening on their premises. In fact, in 2017, in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, a hotel was convicted for sex trafficking.
The CSE Institute would like to commend the Montgomery County detectives and District Attorney’s office for investigating and prosecuting Scott-Milbourne. It is critical that authorities pursue the traffickers who profit from the exploitation of others. We applaud the hotel employee in this case, who recognized the signs of human trafficking and reported it to the authorities. Hotel employees can play a large role in helping victims and reporting trafficking. In addition, the CSE Institute applauds the bravery of the survivors – after all, it is irrefutable that survivor voices will promulgate change in the sex trafficking narrative.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.