On February 26, 2021, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that William Battle, 29, of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania was sentenced to 17 and half years in prison. Additionally, U.S. District Court Judge Malachy E. Mannion ordered Battle to serve five years of supervised release following his prison sentence, as well as complying with sex offender registration and notification requirements.
In September 2019, Battle pled guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, and coercion between 2011 and 2015. Battle was a member of the Black P-Stones, a street gang that engages in both sex and drug trafficking in Stroudsburg as well as the state of Maine. The common practice of the group was to recruit women for the purpose of selling them for sex. The women would then be “sexed in” by being forced to have sex with multiple gang members. The gang would post advertisements of the women they recruited on Backpage.com, a site now suspended for enabling prostitution and sex trafficking. Gang members would threaten their victims with violence and coerced victims with heroin and other drugs.
Prior to Battle’s conviction, the leader of the Black P-Stones, Sirvonn Taylor, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. Other high level gang members were sentenced to between seven and 17 and a half years. These prosecutions are a part of a joint federal, state, and local cooperative approach to combat drug trafficking called the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
The CSE Institute commends the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania State Police, Maine State Police, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, and Monroe County Police Department for their joint effort to target and prosecute violent criminals, especially those who engage in sex trafficking. These efforts fall in line with the philosophies of the Nordic or Equality Model, the approach the CSE Institute hopes more jurisdictions adopt in combatting sex trafficking.